Meanwhile in East Africa…


I hear the stories of the people who surround me. I hear their stories and they sound like the stories of a Hollywood drama. And to be honest, Hollywood has heard the stories and made a movie to represent it. The movie “Black Hawk Down” may have an ending with credits, but the tragedies of Somalia have not completely ended. The credits have not yet rolled.

The violence that affects the Somali people continues to throb like a smashed finger hours after the hit.

The other day, as I sipped comforting and warming Somali tea on my friends couch, browsed through her family photos and shared stories of love, I heard a bang on her front door. She ignored it to continue to host me but yet the knocking continued. Finally she rose to receive the unforeseen guest. I could hear rapid Somali being spoken and as she re-entered the room she shook her head and sighed.

She explained that the young woman whom she rented a room to, was about to receive news that her cousin was brutally shot down in an attempt to flee the violence in her small village. The young woman’s cousin who passed that evening was killed in the cross-fire, she was collateral damage to some else’s fight.

These are moments that remind me of the true human state. I cannot resolve issues such as the sociopolitical issue that lead to the death of a young woman in a small village, but I can listen and do what I would do for my own family, give love. The rest of the afternoon, I listened to my friend reveal her own fears. For the price of a cup of tea, I was a cheap therapist that day.


7 thoughts on “Meanwhile in East Africa…

  1. Thank you for so eloquently describing a situation that is so far removed from every day life for many of us! It’s so important that these stories are told.

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