Convulsing Pain In Africa

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Saw lady who was struck by a motorcycle.

It happened in front of the Sikasso post office.  Young men lifted, more hauled and dragged than lifted,  the lady off the street and dropped her face down in the dirt in front of the shop we just arrived at, laying  her only three feet from my wife who was buying Orange recharge phone cards.

The Lady was left laying there, face down on the ground, her body shaking in spasms and convulsions with no one tending to her. A few street kids were standing over herooking while a mob of several dozen men and women aggressively argued about the incident. Much shoving, yelling, and grabbing going on, with attempted fist blows many times. It was far from over when we left.  A very volatile situation.

Who cared about the convulsing lady right?

What did I do?  I dared not step any further into that mob. I told Lynn to get on the motorcycle so I could get us out of the way of the fighting mob, that by now was on both sides of us. Not a good place to be.

So am I any better?

Would I have done this if I was in Canada, or the lady was white? Why did I assume the mob would look after her because they surely knew the lady?  Why was it so easy, and convenient for me to drive away? Why does an aggressive, angry, to blows Malian African mob give us permission to drive away? Why does Al-Qaeda, threats of kidnapping, radical fundamentalism, war, suffering, pain, hate, violence give us permission to ignore peoples suffering?

Do we even have this permission, morally, spiritually, ethically, theologically, humanly?l

Life seems so incredibly small here at times, and I am so incredibly bad at life, in so many ways.  Even the contemplative view from the “Village up on the Mountain” did not help to conceal, nor console, in any manner, the fact of my glaring character limitations.

We dig holes for ourselves, of comfortable living, and it’s hard to see just how deep down you are until you suddenly want to take a look at the world up there, some fresh air
and realise you can’t get up. You’re too far down.
Charlotte Eriksson

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