I'm in Honduras, working at a Nutrition Centre and Orphanage. It
takes in kids who are malnourished and cares for them until they're either well enough to go back to their families, or, if thats not possible, they stay in the orphanage permanently.
I didn't realise until I
discovered this place that 65% of kids in Honduras are malnourished.
This morning, I was feeding and changing some of the babies at the nutrition centre. And I was holding this one baby so carefully, so afraid that if
i moved him too much, he may just snap. His skin is hanging off his
bones. Its not like its a surprise, poverty is everywhere and people in the world
starve to death silently every day...we all know it, we all accept it, we all read about it in the papers, see it on TV....and then push it to the back of our minds and sigh about how awful the world is, before switching
the TV over to a comedy to cheer ourselves up, or make a cup of tea
instead. Because, in all reality, nobody likes the truth very much. Its a little bit too big, and intense and scary to deal with. So nobody does.
But this is different. It wakes you up, pulls you out of that apathy. You can't switch the channel or make a drink to comfort you. Here you are in a hall full of screaming (some dying) kids - or at least those who have
the energy to scream, are screaming...and you have to pick them up. You have to look at them and face the problem right in the eyes. Yes, of course malnutrition exists. Yes, the wealth inequalities here are ridiculously
injust. Yes, this child has a high chance of dying.
Thats the real truth.
I've been chatting to a lot of people, and as my spanish has come back much faster than I'd ever hoped for, I am getting lots of ideas, and research is not all i'm planning. I want to change the way things work in this field....
especially the resignation and misconceptions towards famine and
malnutrition. Its not just an environmental problem, as is usually perceived, not just about drought or poverty. An example for those of you who don't know (and apologies for repeating it to those who do): during the
Ethiopian famine of 1984-5, Ethiopia was exporting food. Famine is political as well as 'environmental.'
As hard as it has been, life is beautiful all the same. I love having the opportunity to help people constructively. Its great to feel so actively passionate. :) I hope you're all feeling the same way about whatever it is you're doing right now. And if you don't, you should start to question it. Because, in all honesty, you should never compromise your dreams for anything.