Friday, December 12, 2008

Kids in Adult Bodies

There were not too many new exciting things this week. The exciting things are happening next week. First with Olivier and Richard going to the forest to start Laura's research. Then, us getting our new bed and finally, Aketi will be going to the sanctuary.

As for the subject of today's blog. It has to deal with almost everyone in the Congo, with the exception of a few. The view of self-sufficiency is quite different here. A lot of people will see you and notice that you are white or from the first world. They assume that you have tons of money and will ask for a hand out, saying they are hungry or they need something. There is part of me that wants to give to them, but I shouldn't. Why? If you give to one person, the whole village will come looking for a hand-out and will come repeatedly. This might sound cold, but this is a country of infantalism. The phenomenon where people are treated like infants, no matter their age. They are then expected to act so. This is the state the Belgian Empire left the Congo in 1960. After this, no one really came to help and there have been two civil wars since. Where people would rather guilt you into charity than work for it. Like I said, there are exceptions to the rule, such as our staff.

I didn't want to paint a completely sad picture of Congo's people. These are people who need foreign help, and not just some shitty workers form the UN who only get drunk and sleep with prostitutes. These are people who need education and birth control. Also, guidance from uncorrupted hands.

I say the people are like children because they are xenophobic, look only for the material thing and don't know how to handle their emotions rationally. This is mostly found in people in government and positions of power and influence.

Despite all of this, I hope that one day this country can learn that it can be proud of its resources. A country of conversation, since it is home to the world's only population of okapis and last great chimpanzee culture. I hope its a dream that will come true.

No comments: