Wow. I can’t believe it’s September already. Where is the time going? I guess that being busy all the time now is making time go by so much faster than it did over the summer. That’s typical though. Between “ending” the summer at the lake and “moving” to Warrensburg to begin a new semester of classes geared toward my teaching certification, it’s been a pretty big whirlwind these past few weeks. I say “ending” and “moving” with hesitation because although the summer ended, I decided to continue working at the lake while taking classes this semester. So, for now, I live in Warrensburg Sunday nights-Thursday mornings, and at the lake Thursday afternoons-Sunday afternoons. It’s quite exhausting, but in the best way. I am absolutely in love with the lake for obvious reasons, but more importantly I am completely in love with the amazing group of people I’ve been privileged to work with and be friends with there. I also love my classes and professors in Warrensburg, along with the awesome new apartment we rented, so it’s kind of like having the best of both worlds all the time. Also, the 1 hr and 40 min drive to and from the lake on Thursday’s and Sunday’s gives me plenty of time to call and catch up with my family in St. Louis, which is wonderful and makes the drive go so much quicker. Well, that pretty much sums up life right now. It’s crazy, tiring, and so beautiful and I’m loving every second of it.
Thanks to some downtime last night and Drew’s subscription to Netflix, I showered up and climbed into a clean bed pretty early to find something to watch on my computer before I fell asleep. I wasn’t expecting AT ALL to find what I found.
This documentary follows Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, writers for the NY Times, through their journey of discovering gut wrenching happenings of the oppression of women and young girls in different places around the world. I can honestly say that I haven’t seen anything on tv in the past year, or so that has really gotten my attention to the point that I sat still and watched the entire thing, until now. The first place that they visited was a center in Sierra Leone called Rainbow Centre. Amie Kandeh run this center for young women and girls who are victims of rape in Sierra Leone. She houses some of them, and medically checks and rechecks several thousand each year. While she explained the details surrounding her organization, tears welled up in my eyes as she stated that 80 percent of the girls who come to her shelter are under the age of twelve. She said that the war in Sierra Leone ended and it became punishable by law to use firearms, but that rape was just a simple slap on the wrist for the rapist, while it was looked upon as an unforgiveable sin cast upon the victim.
Another story that really pulled my heart strings in this documentary was that of Somaly Mam in Cambodia. Cambodia has an alarmingly high number of young girls and women bought for nothing and sold into brothels for 100 percent profit each day. Somaly Mam was actually bought and sold by a friends aunt when she was 12 years old into a brothel where she had between 10 and 20 customers a day, saw her best friend beaten to death, and finally escaped during a police raid a long time after. She went on to develop an organization that not only provided housing, counseling, education, food and so much love to girls who had also been sold into brothels, but she developed a strong set of connections with police department and began going on raids by herself each week to expose the brothels and save the young girls from them. So many of the young girls had no family to return to upon being rescued because they were looked at as an embarrassment and as shameful children.
There are so many more incredible stories on this documentary and so many young girls affected by different forms of gender based discrimination each day all around the world. I highly recommend watching this. More so than anything else I have ever seen. This documentary pulled at my heart, opened my eyes and set a fire to my soul leaving me desperately eager to play a part in not only ending this, but in being right there with those girls and being able to love, educate and inspire them. It’s made me even more aware of the cruel injustices that go unspoken each day and of the number of people who are truly unaware and uneducated on these issues. One of the most interesting thoughts that I had last night while falling asleep was this: I have never been more aware of the the number of people in this world who live incredible lives and leave deep footprints on the hearts of so many people in this world. I have never been aware of the number of people who have lived lives like this that I have never heard of. Never seen. Never spoken to. I want to be there. I want to know all of these incredible, hardworking, determined and loving individuals who devote their entire lives to loving others. I want to be one of them.
I have already got a pretty good idea of something I may look into doing after seeing this documentary, but for now I’m going to keep it in the safe confines of my crazy head and just let it simmer for awhile. I’ll keep you posted though. :)
Here are a few links to different resources and organizations that I’ve talked about in this post, just in case you would like to check them out.
Rainbow Centre in Sierra Leone
Somaly Mam in Cambodia
Half the Sky
Here’s a challenge:
Open your mind today. Learn something new that will better you and share it with someone else. Knowledge is power.
Here’s a thought: