Friday, February 20, 2009

Vaudville cross talk meets starving lepers

I got in SUCH a fight with one of my donors today. We were actually yelling at each other in the halls of the Ministry of Health. I believe at one point I yelled "Explain to me how you can call yourself a humanitarian when you are leaving lepers to starve to death?!" and she definitely yelled at me "Do you cry when you think about all the orphans you've refused to help? Do you?"

Yeah. It went well.

See, I've got a group of people who suffered from leprosy, TB and cancer who were left permanently incapacitated by their illness, even though technically they are "cured". I want this donor to give me a bunch of stuff to assist them and they claim that, since the people are no longer straight sick, the community should take care of them. To which I point out that Southern Sudan has no safety net right now, everyone is on the ragged edge of survival and any shock, like, say, your dads feet and nose rotting off, can catapult a family into malnutrition and risky behaviors like prostitution.

See, I said it much more calmly there. When I was in front of donor lady, I was frothing as was she.

I won, in the end, through sheer witchiness and refusal to leave their office. Their office is situated on the river right next to the place where water trucks come to fill up with water and, as I pulled away from the compound, I was doing a little victory dance on top of Donk and all the water guys cheered for me.

What a day.

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