05 November, 2008

Back To Reality

It's hard to believe after two years it's over just like that. This sums it up well. Is it really over? It's like a rushed Christmas morning - all the hype and expectation is gone and all that's left is wrapping paper.

I did vote by the way. I did my civic duty, realized the privilege I have and voted. I am one the proud 3,000.

And life goes on.

After leaving the polling station I walked home in the rain that was lightly falling. It was a peaceful moment; for a moment I forgot that I live in this city of power and found a moment of peace. I settled into my apartment, checked my work email, and then did something I rarely do... I sat in silence.

For my trip to Cambodia I am working on lessons for each day we are there. I am struggling with what to say, and how to give "answers" to a situation I have never confronted myself. I have so much book knowledge on the topic of commercial sexual exploitation and anti-trafficking measures, but I have never seen her. I have never had to see the result of man's depravity. And even on this trip we'll roll beads and paint fingernails - in my head I know, at least technically, what she's been through. This sweet 10 year old girl who has experienced more pain and betrayal that I have at 25. It's not right.

I fear my answers won't be enough to stop the questions that will scream loudly in my mind.

Sara Groves went to Rwanda and confronted the reality of the genocide there. She wrote:

I saw what I saw and I can't forget it. I heard what I heard and I can't go back. I know what I know and I can't deny it. ... Your pain has changed me, your dreams inspire. Your face a memory, your hope a fire. Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of, and what I know of love."

Gary Haugen in Terrify No More said, "I don't generally hear the victims of abuse doubting the present of God either. Much more often I hear them asking me, "Where have you been?"

Where have we been?
We are responsible for what we see and what we are forced to confront. By going I, and the other women on this team, must speak out for what we have seen, for what we now know. To return home and forget, to return home and stay silent, to return home and not fight is almost a greater injustice - isn't it?

After the peaceful walk home I was confronted by the realities of what going means. This isn't a simple trip. Standing on this side I know I will never be the same. By going I am responsible. I cried because I am such an inadequate advocate. I am blunt and rough and not-PC.

But perhaps that's what these girls need.

Cautiously expectant for what is to come.

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© Amanda Lunday