Kibera

Just to say so, I tried last night to post the sweetest pictures of the baby elephant sucking on his human caretaker’s fingers and the internet was so slow that after waiting 40 minutes, twice, for the photos to load (I’m Taurus, very stubborn) the attempts were ultimately unsuccessful. I may try after this to post a photo or two from today, but won’t be so stubborn about it if it does not work.

Today is maybe the most remarkable day of my life but I really have no idea how to remark on it. I have travelled to third world countries since I turned 20 and thought I had seen at least glimpses of every kind of poverty and living condition. There is little use for words in describing this day, yet here I am with only words as a medium. One young man from New York City said tonight in our circle after the day that he had seen hundreds of slides from his professor’s trip last year, had read and heard as much as he could take in and nothing could have prepared him. I am thinking that may partly be why my photos won’t load. Photos would be cliche. They don’t say anything really. However, eventually I will try to put photos to these logs, just because.

We walked into this slum where 1.2 million people live in a very small area that has absolutely no public service except a few posts where comes in which can be bought and carried away. No trash service, no plumbing, no electricity, no sanitation, no social services – nothing. There are ditches that run through Kabira with trickles of water flowing through. They are all filled with sewage, as is the ground. Trash has become part of the earth and walls, trash is smushed into everywhere, layers and layers of it. The smell is powerfully overwhelming. They say that 2/3 of the people who live Kabira are children, probably because it is very hard to survive.

We went to Drugfighter’s school where 260 children are being fed and educated. Each of the children there is a rescue. Not one of them is there just for education, they are all there because they have been raped, beaten, starved, traumatized or abandoned and Agnes has pulled them into a world where they can be fed at least, educated also, and protected if at all possible. Most of them have to go back home at night to the same abusers. Only because of Drugfighters do most of them eat at all or have an idea of hope in this world.

I went to the home of one of the children today, a small, dark, mud room about the size of two double beds where three people live. This child has an old grandmother who cares for her and another. This was luxury compared to some of the other stories, yet the situation was an assualt to every sense and has left me in shock. Some of the other children come home at night to another beating, rape, or an adult who leaves them with several younger children alone in the dark without food either overnight night after night, or for weeks at a time.

We came back to our hotelk and I try to be a listener to others in the group, but we are all the same. In shock. Agnes and her amazing staff spend every day of their lives trying to bring love and hope into the lives of these children. Carter Via comes in a few times a year and builds classrooms, and whatever else he can provide for them, and they call him father.

I feel inarticulate now, very much so. There aren’t words. I will continue to try.

2 Responses to “Kibera”

  1. Darita-Rose Alden Says:

    I don’t think that “shock” is a strong enough word. You are traumatized because you have an open heart and to see people you care about being traumatized causes trauma for you. The bell tolls for us all. As an empath, I feel it every day and try not to let it freeze me. You have a right to find your center, but that may be through the path of many tears, howling out loud, screaming. Go some place away, think of me paying loving attention to you, think of God, think of anyone that works for you, and let the tears and howling come. My love is with all of you.

  2. Trinette Says:

    Wow Tayria….what a journey you have been on. I have so much admiration and respect for you putting yourself in this position. It’s so hard for me to understand how such conditions exist all over and as a society we are oblivious to it because its not convenient to us. I am thinking of you every day and sending my love to you and to all those people who are less fortunate than I. Xoxo

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