the invention of alcohol.

25 Jun

when i was working in communications last year we would always tell our volunteers heading to africa the following: “write a blog post and then save it. go to sleep. hit publish in the morning when you’re less in the moment.”

but you know what – f&*k it – that’s terrible advice.

i’m angry! i’m really flipping angry, and if i have to sit here and stew about today, i’m exposing you to it as well.

i spent the entire day (from 5.45 am…vomit) in the field today visiting another branch.  while i love getting out of the office, these field days kick the pants off of me.  i get dirtier than i’ve ever been (the air is brown here – the flipping air!), travel bumpy roads for hours and always have a digestive ‘event’ the day after.

(yah, i signed up for this, but i’m still allowed to say it sucks. get over it.)

and while i normally just take the good with the bad on these field days – the things i saw today have left me sitting in my apartment with a slight twitch.

basically, i’m pretty sure that the guy that invented alcohol did so after a day exactly like this one.

today i saw two funerals (where the body sits outside the house and gets burned nearby, both of which i witnessed), scores of wildly grieving family members, several dead and near-dead dogs, some of the worst in-home living conditions i’ve yet to experience (a rickety floor in a house over putrid lake water), an old man crawling through mud like a crab and shaking uncontrollably (parkinsons?), and an incident of disrespect to our clients that has made me question our staff members’ intention

ok, so maybe to you some of the above doesn’t seem like a big deal. honestly, it’s not so much the events themselves that are anger-inducing, but the fact that here you aren’t protected from anything.

no matter what the situation – dead body, desperate client, disease-ridden man – you have to witness unapologetic instances of unfairness and tragedy that aren’t easily deleted from your memory.

today at one point i actually stopped looking around when i thought something in my sight line might be upsetting. i literally started repeating to myself: “this is not a memory you want. this is not a memory you want.” while trying to look away.

so yah, i’m angry. i’m angry i had to see those things and i’m angry that we live in a world with so much random injustice.

you know, i hate those people who preach about how we should all be happy we weren’t born into poverty. because while their lives are more difficult, the poor are just as dignified as anyone else.

so  after today, i simply want to ask you to just be grateful for something – for anything – in your lives.

one of the better memories from today. what a cool scene.


15 Responses to “the invention of alcohol.”

  1. A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) June 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    I could just hear in your words how tough a day you had Allie.

    I am probably someone who says that I am fortunate not to have been born in a third world country. I also find myself thinking similar thoughts each time I visit a hospital. In fact, I could replace ‘sick’ when you say ‘poor’ and feel the same depth of emotion. Chose the place and the cause, and do what you can. That’s all anyone can ever do.

    We missed you last night. xoxo

    • heyitsmeal June 27, 2011 at 10:52 am #

      thanks for the nice comment, definitely made me feel better to know that i’m not alone! you’re right, you have to take on one thing at a time – you can’t solve all the world’s problems. i guess it’s just hard when so many are coming at you at once…

      on a happier note, i got to secretly be there with you all on saturday. i had partners in crime sending me pictures and updates every hour – it looked beautiful. i’m so happy for them.

      lots of love!!!!!!

      • A.A.B. (auntie angie baby) June 28, 2011 at 4:48 am #

        if you see pics of me and your mom table dancing, don’t worry. it really did happen!

      • heyitsmeal June 28, 2011 at 10:12 am #

        well played.

  2. Hannah June 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    You know some of the crazy I’ve had in my life, so we don’t need to go there. But whenever any of my friends ask “how do you do it? how do you deal with all of this and seem so normal,” I tell them that I’ve had the chance to see some of the worst things in the world.

    Perspective is both horrifying and wonderful. I’m sorry you had to witness this, but I can promise that it will make your life so much better in the long run. GT Love.

  3. Barnet June 28, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    I am grateful for you.

    • heyitsmeal June 28, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      awww this is very sweet and made me feel all warm and fuzzy – thank you! love the vid – sade…nice.

  4. Barnet June 28, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    And now for something local.

    • Barnet June 28, 2011 at 6:47 am #

      Wrong link

    • heyitsmeal June 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

      ive watched this like 35 times…thanks again for sharing it. the song is really powerful and will likely keep reminding me of why i’m here – on the days when i want to hop a plane. i’m truly touched. xo


  1. my imperfect perfect sidekick. « hey it's me, al. - June 29, 2011

    […] is it possible to be in a fight with a whole country, you ask? well if you read this, this and this – you may be able to read between the lines, and […]

  2. the logic of fish and fear. « hey it's me, al. - August 18, 2011

    […] being the case, today  – like many days come to think of it – i thank god for chilled […]

  3. you’re beautiful. « hey it's me, al. - September 30, 2011

    […] it is no secret that this place often pisses me off. there are days when i want to burn the entire country to the ground laughing diabolically while i […]

  4. a beginning, a middle and an end. « hey it's me, al. - November 25, 2011

    […] but by the middle of it all, finally finding my voice simply wasn’t enough – it had turned out that randomly moving to india wasn’t so easy afterall. work became difficult, the thrill of living in the country of dust-turned-mud-turned dust again and spice had quickly worn off. basically, it blew. hardcore. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: