Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Djibouti in January

So what are you supposed to do?  A little girl asked if she could watch our car while we ate lunch.  It's a bit of a scam, of course, but it's an honest attempt to survive.  She couldn't have been more than seven or eight.

So we ate lunch at a Chinese place; sat and talked business for about an hour.  When we came out, our little security guard was there with a smile and a little hand held out.  Her mom and little brother were there, too.  Homeless.  I gave the kid about $12 which is huge, considering.  Without even looking to see what I'd given them, both she and her mom asked for more.  I gave it to them.  They're living on the street, trying to survive.  What am I supposed to do, God?

I sort of understand the kid or her mom.  My discomfort is not their fault.  Their story will be like so many others.  I'm angry, though, that I'm staying in a luxurious hotel with hot and cold running attendants, and three blocks away, this precious mother and her children can barely feed themselves.  It hurts to know.  I'll go by that block again tomorrow.  I hope they're there, and I hope they're not.  If they are, I'll stop.  But what can I do?  This lady and her kids are just like us.