We went to Afrika Tiikun in Delft today and helped in the garden. It was fun and easy. The tide changed soon after. We walked through the township all the way to where the hospital clinic was located. We were introduced by, since I can't remember her name I will call her, Sister. She explained what they did at the hosptital and everything that they had to offer the community. Free or basically free healthcare for anyone who needed help. She described some things that she has seen or experienced there that if I were to ever go through that, do not know how I would go to work again the next day. But she was passionate. She was willing and able to help. She was brave. I walked past an continuous line of HIV/AIDS patients, TB patients, pregnant patients, pediatric patients...and saw first hand. I looked into their eyes. It is easy to feel pain and pity when you get thrown into something you have never seen in real life and only read about. It is easy to feel doom and gloom in these moments. It is easy to cry and feel suffocated. It is NOT easy to remember in these moments that this community is their home. It is not easy to always see the beauty in these moments. it is not easy to feel at peace. But all of the things that are not easy to do are necessary. It will take me time to adjust my heart first, but I have hope that after my experience tomorrow and the next week in Delft, I can do what is not so easy. This is their life and they are proud to have what they have and not dwell on the have not. Just because they may lack the materials that me and so many others are privileged to have and take for granted, does not mean that they are inferior because of that. They are strong...they are moral...they are survivors and thrive.
Its almost impossible through writing to describe my thoughts, emotions, sights, and feelings, it doesn't do it justice. So I am sorry you will never fully understand what I have seen or experienced. The lessons are important though so take from it what you will.
We have been talking about an idea called "lived experience" and its a simple idea yet so very complicated...especially in America. Its the being aware of space, time, body, and relationships. It is describing it mundanely. It is getting away from the feeling description into what is really happening. It is not taking the little things for granted...My lived experience today in Delft was extreme to me. I felt sick to my stomach...my sense of time was incredibly slow (I wanted to get out of the hospital), my relationships were distant, and my space was crammed. So the point is to try and remember your life and others with the small things in life. What are the women, men, and children sitting in line waiting to be tested for HIV/AIDS lived experiences like? How about in the 12 minutes it takes for them to get their results?
I'm not sure if that made any sense. I have to stop for now but plan on finishing tomorrow. The hospital is doing amazing things for beautiful people. I am going to wake up tomorrow, go to Delft, and do it again.
Everyone as one,