Monday, June 28, 2010

The Sudan

So there we are, wandering through the produce aisle, and Marin spies a couple of tall dark women dressed in the really colorful traditional African dress and headscarf. Marin laser locks on these women and insists on talking to them.

Turns out they are from Sudan, but when they learned Marin was Ethiopian, they said they were from Addis. So I asked "Wait a minute, I thought you just said you were from The Sudan?" (and, by the way, they looked way more Sudanese in appearance than Ethiopian) Big mistake my asking. Now we get the whole Sudanese refugee story.

The women speak: "We are from Sudan, but conditions there are terrible terrible. Soldiers are killing our families, burning our houses, and stealing our livestock. There is no jobs, no food, no water. This women here, my sister, and me, we packed our belongings on a donkey and walked to Ethiopia. We can travel only at night to avoid the soldiers, but we can travel only in daylight to avoid the lions and hyenas. It is very dangerous. Many of us were lost. Once inside Ethiopia, we found a bus ride to Addis. Once inside Addis, we must do unspeakable things to earn money to go to London and then to America. " And on and on and on.

Normally, I would be fascinated and heartbroken by such a life history and would have invited these women someplace for dinner to get the time to hear all the details. But in front of Marin? Shheeeesh. I could see her little head about to explode. So now we are in the car. Marin..........

"Why did soldiers burn them house down?"
" What did they eat when they walked a long time?"
" What does the word unspeakable mean?"
" What did they do that is unspeakable?"
"Daddy, tell me the truth, is this what really happened to me and Emmy?"
" Were we in Sudan and had to walk to Ethiopia before you found us?"
" Daddy, did the soldiers have guns or knives?"
" Did they hurt kids or just grown ups?"

And about a million more questions. I am exhausted.

7 comments:

Liz said...

Oh my!

Elfe and I were at the zoo yesterday, we saw a group of black people and all the women - even the toddler girls - were wearing head scarves. After we passed them, Elfe turned to me and said "Ethiopia people." It's the first time she's ever done that, in the past she's been surprised when I tell her someone is from Ethiopia. Now reading your story, I'm glad I didn't turn around and approach them to find out for sure!

Shannon- said...

HA! I love that you share the innumerable questions your children have. Always a time to laugh and cry at the same time for the very same reasons.

許紀廷 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。......................................................................

玫友 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

Shrijnana said...

Wow, poor Meron. But I wonder if the woman thought it was OK to say all that in front of Meron because the children in their lives, including themselves as children, experienced all that, too. Childhood isn't always what we think it is or what it should be. Very sobering.

翰豪翰豪翰豪 said...

安安!剛開始玩這個,來這裡逛一下^^............................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

thx rfor you sharing~~learn it by heart..................................................................