Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Doctrine of Hand-outs and Photo Shoots
The Buckaroo started this entry differently so if this sounds like an entry written by a bi-polar blogger, well, that's life....
I had the rare privilege, yesterday of seeing two players on the "African field" (if I may call it that). The diplomat, and the missionary. The difference was a matter of just a sentence. And dare I say, an attitude. The diplomat was visiting a support program for underprivileged children and he came bearing gifts, he said, “Let these gifts go to the students that have done well academically.” There were few gifts, but they were practical (... and of course they bore the emblem of his embassy). Now, see, that was my language. Isn’t that how life is? For the children there are the important things in life, like education, that should be encouraged with incentives.
The missionaries on the other hand had bags and bags of freebies: for example, sun glasses to be distributed to all them children. Now kids like such things indeed! It’s like candy because it feels good to have and is pleasant to the eye and one missionary said,
“oh! How cute!”
and took pictures (and as per whoever told them that these little ‘uns have never seen their own faces before - they took the pictures and made sure to show the kids on the digital camera screen (sorry all y’all mirror vendors in Kauma Market and minibus drivers with rear-view mirrors, your mirrors don’t exist, don’t even know why glass panes on windows or streams and rivers in Africa might not reflect their little faces, search me). Side note: one of them brought a polaroid camera just to make sure the little ‘uns would be sure to have their image somewhere! Wow, poor little ‘uns ! How much cuter do they need to look before people realize their life goes beyond the surface “needs” of receiving and receiving and posing for cute pix?
The Bible says blessed is the “GIVER” I wanna see you little ‘uns blessed too, as a giver one day. Heh heh, when you know what you look like, ahem…that was uncalled for nie?
....and then today I was put in that position of receiving. i got a beautiful bag which was full of goodies and a chance to pick clothes from a bunch that was being given out to the people at that same place mentioned above. It was movie-like, there I was, the veritable buckaroo who has qualms about hand-outs, photo shoots, and freebies happily selecting freebies in the form of a top, beach shorts, and cargo pants. and on my way back to where I'm typing this I was handed a gift of a the bag and the goodies inside. Agh! shame. someone shoot me! I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!!