India World Vision trip...Day 3, in which the protagonist sees two pigs doing it, and lays down some Grateful Dead lyrics to a room full of people who can't understand what she's saying
Today was the day in which I will remember that I realized I had officially drunk the World Vision Kool Aid. And I'm down with it in a major way. Without going on and on, what this group of people does it bring hope to those who have none. I knew that much already -- but what I saw today brought it home. Among other things we saw today was a different ADP (area development project) office in a different part of the city. The deal with this place, as it was explained, was that along with the usual issues that the World Visioners were working on, such as prenatal nutrition, infant mortality rates, childhood education, water treatment, and the like - one of the big ones in this particular ADP (i just told you what this meant!!!!) was empowering women. And I don't mean braiding their hair and talking about Bollywood stars. I mean this is one of the places in the world where they abort female babies. This is one of those places where women aren't fed or educated because, really, what's the point? This is one of those places where little girls are bought and sold, their value is limited to what their families can scrounge up for a dowry to get them out of the house, and I think you get where I'm going with this. NOT GREAT FOR GIRLS.
World Vision has taken it upon themselves to organize and educate women to appreciate and re-establish their worth, to learn trades, to come together in groups of support, to fight for their equality in the community, and most importantly - to teach these things to their daughters. Today we were escorted to a basement meeting room full of women and their children from such groups. What they were doing was amazing - this particular collective has figured out a way to save their money and create a sort of bank that loans money out to other women to better themselves, start businesses, buy the things they NEED to move forward. This as opposed to the other way to get loaned money - at 100% interest from banks and sharks that make sure you can never get ahead and you'll always be in debt. This collection of women told us stories about how they are just beginning to understand that maybe the way they were raised, to think they weren't just as important as their male counterparts, was wrong. They are creating a ripple effect that will change an entire generation. Yes...here is where I stood up and recited 'Ripple' by the Grateful Dead. They're lucky I didn't sing it. This marks one of my greatest days since my son was born.
Yeah yeah, we did other stuff too. I also saw two pigs doing it and had some seriously good soup.