Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Day In The Life Of A Girl

I didn't post yesterday on Blog Action Day.

I don't have an excuse. I don't have a speech. I don't even have my head on straight.

My life's in a bit of mess right now and I'll confess, Blog Action Day wasn't really at the top of my list of priorities.

Maybe 'mess' is a little too strong a word. Upheaval would be more apt. Change is upon me and being as wonderful as I am with change, I'm unraveling quickly.

But then the work day comes to an end and it's time to go home. I sit in the back of the car and curse at how long it takes to reach where I'm going. 20 long minutes later, I'm home. I lay sprawled out, naked, on my queen size bed, let the cold blast from the AC cool me off and wonder about what's for dinner. The lady that cooks for us makes eating a chore.

I can hear my mother watching TV in the living room. I wish she'd turn down the volume. I head to the bathroom, and turn on the shower. The water's warmer than usual. Stupid, fucking summer. What's it going to take to get a cold shower in this country?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a 7 year old girl is ending her work day too. She's not had a great day either. But that's okay, another hour and half, and she'll be home. She turns around and peers through the darkness to check on her little brother and blind mother that are following her lead. Because they're all walking barefoot, her brother has a bell tied to his ankle so his mother can hear him.

They're finally home. To her grandmother's disappointment, the day the family spent begging in the market wasn't very fruitful. Not unlike most nights, they go to sleep hungry. With any luck, it won't rain tonight. There're holes in the reed roof. If it rains, their little bamboo hut (about the size of a queen size bed), will fill with water.

The little girl spends the next morning collecting firewood and water to drink. The fact that the well is covered in dust and mosquito larvae doesn't seem to bother her. Her infected sore eyes don't seem to be causing too much discomfort either. She carries the 20 kilo (well over half her own body weight) buckets home. A tiny frog crosses her path as she walks. When the dry season comes, she and her older sister will trek into the forest nearby to hunt for these frogs and the little crabs that live under the big rocks. Their one meal for the day.

I get out of the shower and wrap my wet hair in a big towel. As I moisturize my hands and feet, I can hear the stupid TV show my mother is still watching. I've skipped dinner because I don't eat chicken and I can't stand cauliflower. I crawl under my blanket feeling sorry for myself and in 10 minutes I'm asleep.

Tomorrow is another day.

(The Little Girl)