a moment of love, even in a bad man, can give meaning to a life

“it’s shit. it’s like one of those infomercials with African kids with swollen bellies and flies in their eyes. see here i’ve got dead mothers, i’ve got severed limbs, but it’s ‘nothing new’. sure, it might make some people cry if they read it, maybe even write a cheque. but it’s not going to be enough to make it stop! i’m sick of writing about victims but it’s all I can fucking do.”–Blood Diamond


For the 40 hour famine this year, Ruby and I decided to do the 8 MGD challenge.
1. Eradicate Poverty and hunger – we gave up food
2. Achieve Universal Primary Education – we limited ourselves to talking with only 60 different words (to demonstrate a basic vocabulary)
3. Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women – we wore capes
4. Reduce Child Mortality – each hour we took one thousand steps to represent the amount of children who died in that hour.
5. Maternal Health – we took care of ‘cloth’ babies
6. Combat HIV aids and other preventable diseases – we chose to bind our hands together, to represent the effects of tuberculosis, and the limitation that any disease can place upon a person.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability – reduced water restrictions
8. Develop a Global Partnership – We tied ourselves together

not all of these MGDs were held throughout the 40 hours.
we decided that instead of having them continuously run throughout the full 40, we would steadily drop an MGD after a set time.
this sort of represented that we had ‘accomplished’ or ‘solved’ that particular MGD.
I kept my cloth baby (Margaret for the full 40).
I’m not going to lie; some of the MGDs were really hard.
Some were maybe even too hard.
MGD number 2 was difficult in the sense that very few people understood what we were trying to say.
It was as much as a communication difficulty as it was a problem with people listening in the right way.
I guess it made me realise how lucky I was.
We had Jem come into do his Global Poverty Project presentation, and I was happily reading words on each of the slides that exceeded our ‘word budget’ by dozens.
I’ve never realised how damn lucky I am to know how to speak, how to write and how to read.

and of course there was MGD number 4.
which I admit, we had fun with in the first time we did it.
we walked around the room ‘humming’ numbers until we reached 100, knowing that if we reached that spot, we would have done 100 steps. This meant we just had to reach the spot ten times and we were set.
so we galloped and walked around happily.
thinking very little about the MGD itself.
The second time… was a little different.
after a five minute communication session with Ruby (we were still on word limitations), we decided to let the moment impact us a bit.
We didn’t agree on silence, just on impact.
Yet, when we started walking… and started thinking about each child that had died, with every step we took…silence sort of became inevitable.
No sound… no noise… no word on our list could explain that feeling of children dying.
some die in wars and other conflicts, however some died from diseases that have affected them since they were born.
suffering from the moment they open their eyes, until the moment they close them.
as I continued to walk the room… well let’s just say that it did ‘impact’ me.
we did it once more, the steps (3 times in total).
we dropped it the earliest, yet it was the one that I remember the best.

the rest of the evening was uneventful,
I woke up horrified in the morning to see that I had accidentally began to use Margaret as a pillow.
Ruby also accidentally blurted out “THAT’S A FACEBOOK PHOTO FOR SURE!”
but nothing could compare to the steps we took. Not even the effects of the famine.
eventually we dropped them all, ruby continued her water restrictions for the full 40 hours,
I kept my baby.
so that was my famine.
it was hard,
but I’d say it was the best famine I’ve ever done.

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