I have now officially been published in Public Agenda. What an exciting day! I also wrote an article on domestic violence after visiting a domestic violence shelter yesterday. The article was a bit challenging, especially given that I thought I was just tagging along with another reporter until we showed up at the shelter and she looked at me and said, “Well, ask your questions.” Yikes, I didn’t even know I was supposed to have questions. The shelter was run by the government and was woefully understaffed and under supplied. But, I wrote my article as an information session about domestic violence and the financial strain on the shelter. I’m hoping public officials will pay attention.
Yesterday night I had a real blast with our group as we decided to try and balance things on our head just as most of the women here do. So far we have seen sewing machines, gallons of water, bananas and a refrigerator on top of various womens’ heads. It’s outrageous that we haven’t caught on to this brilliant method of transportation in the U.S. But then again, I gave it a good try and still ended up knocking myself upside the head with textbooks multiple times. In all of our silliness, we decided to turn off all the lights and tell ghost stories. Boy we got scared. I couldn’t even take my nighttime shower I was so filled with fear. Michelle told the scariest story of one of her friends who went on a two week camping/hiking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail with just her dog as a companion. When she returned and developed her film, there were pictures on the roll of her sleeping inside the tent with her dog. But who took the photos? Creeeeepy! So we scared ourselves silly and then I crashed into bed from pure exhaustion. It has been cooler here than when we first arrived (or maybe I am getting used to it) so sleeping is much easier.
This morning as I was walking to work I looked into one of the three feet deep gutter on the side of the road and saw a baby kitten sitting in it. The gutters here are not a pretty sight and they often are flowing with untreated sewage. The kitten almost made me cry as it noticed me but I had to get to work and I wasn’t sure if it would be safe to pick up because the last thing I want is to deal with a cat bite. It was luckily in a dry gutter near a food stand. So, I stood for a while trying to come to terms with the state of things in my life that I would turn away from a kitten in need and finally pointed the cat out to another man standing nearby and went to work. It’s hard to relate to the priorities of animals here when there are so many people in need of fresh food and water. All I can do now is pray someone took pity on the kitten or the momma cat was somewhere nearby. (A fact I have almost convinced myself of already.) Thinking back on the situation, I think I did the right thing.