Posted by Barbanne on December 14, 2001 at 22:31:45:

Of course this is a work of fiction.


I don't know what it was that made me decide this was what I wanted to do.
I'm not really the sort of person who cares for others all that much. I certainly never thought of myself as a save the world type either.
I'm a slightly built girl with big brown eyes, skin the colour of old honey and hair like a whirlwind has just passed by.
My skin colour comes from my having a grandmother who was Indian. Proper black Indian, Dravidian actually from the hot curry south of the sub continent.
I trained as a nurse and completed a degree in arts and took a job in a big city hospital and got really bored emptying bed pans and soothing rich mens' piles.
Then I saw they wanted nurses in Africa.
"What the hell," I thought, "makes a change."
I got the job and landed in Nairobi with everything I owned in one suitcase.
In Nairobi I was met by a guy from the agency and he arranged travel for me to where I would spend the next two years, way up country, out in the bush.
Out of Kenya actually.

I set up my stuff in the concrete block building they called a clinic in the village where I was based and started in treating the locals. I had an offsider and a pal and an interpreter and all round sweetie called Miranda who was coal black, absolutely lovely and walked with a gorgeously natural grace that anorexic supermodels would have killed for.
Miranda was tall and I was short and the villagers smiled to see the two of us wandering around side by side, often hand in hand, her looking lovely in a way that cannot be learnt or bought and me looking dusty and different in khaki shirt, shorts and woollen socks and bush boots.
Little Missy they called me.

I started to learn things.
Did you know that the United Nations buys grain to feed the starving Africans of southern Sudan from the Arab farmers of northern Sudan and then the government in Khartoum uses the money they have thus gained to fuel and arm the bombers with which they then bomb southern Sudan and create the famine which is the problem in the first place.
Did you know that a prominent Australian Aid Chairman spent something like eighteen thousand dollars chartering a plane in Africa to save a half a day in travel time, money which had been collected by hundreds of people from the so called west to feed and educate African people with no real hope of ever leading the sort of lives we have taken for granted.
Did you know that cigarette manufacturers happily flog their product to ignorant and uneducated people in the third world without ever mentioning the well documented health problems which they are forced to advertise in richer countries.
Did you know that the UN provides heaps of nice, shiny, white vehicles for aid purposes many of which turn up, brand new, in warehouses in cities in these countries where they are quickly resprayed and sold through car lots. Think how many palms have to be greased for that to happen.
Did you know that very "respectable" food companies sell baby formula by means of sexy advertising to African women who can't really afford it and who express their own milk, the milk which has nurtured kids for centuries so that they can raise their kids on this powdered cows milk in the mistaken belief that it is the right thing to do. Certainly is if you're a shareholder in the company involved.
Did you know big Pharmaceutical companies will not allow drugs, especially aids related drugs, to be manufactured locally in these countries at a fraction of what they cost when imported from America or Europe, as this would damage their profits which patent laws maintain at an enormously elevated cost.
Did you know that drugs which cannot be sold in America and Europe because they cannot meet the required health standards are regularly sold off to the third world. For the pharmas this is a big winner. They save the cost of destroying the drugs, they save the cost of warehousing them and they aften obtain tax credits for charitable donation of products.
It is suspected that drugs not deemed ready for markets such as the US are sometimes tested by being released in third world countries.
Of course governments around the world delude themselves that they are in control of the situation as regards world movements of drugs and foods and stuff like cigarettes. Multi nationals know the truth that government exists only as a sop to the conscience of people in a world run by those very multi nationals.
What is good for the bottom line is good for us all.

I also learnt that a dark skinned girl still can't gain admission to the clubs or the world of the white economic colonialists.
Nor can a dark skinned girl aspire beyond the lower ranks of society no matter where she lives.
I started to complain.
I wrote to the companies involved.
I wrote to government, local, national and my own.
I made a pest of myself.
Finally after a brief affair (two days max) back on the coast with a randy journalist I managed to get my views across by way of an interview in a tabloid paper.
This brought me to the notice of the enemy.

I didn't realise it but my time was up.

They came for me one morning.
They didn't even bother to change out of their blue uniform shirts.
I was playing games with a mob of kids in the dusty ground outside the clinic. We were having heaps of fun with a wrecked soccer ball and a few sticks. I was giggling and the kids were giggling and whooping and it was boys versus girls and the girls were just a whisker in front.
Three men.
Big, rough, black men.
They drove up in a cloud of dust and got out and as we all stood there watching, our game suspended, they ran over and grabbed me and dragged me screaming into their car. The kids fled shrieking in terror.
They only took me a half kilometre away and there they threw me from the car and ripped my clothes off and forced me to the ground and one of them, a big ugly brute with a scar running from his temple to his chin and the top of his left ear missing, wrapped his huge hands around my throat and throttled me.
I fought.
Oh how I fought.
I struggled and bucked and writhed and clawed and punched and my booted feet hammered the ground and my heels gouged and tore at the earth.
When I was dead they raped my pathetic bruised and beaten body.
Raped me orally, vaginally and anally.
Then they went. Money earned. A good start to their day.

When the villagers saw the car drive away they came looking for me and soon found my battered and ghastly corpse, naked except for my boots and socks. My eyes were slitted, sightless white eyeballs just visible through the crack. My nose was broken and flies clustered around the bloody snot, my mouth gaped open and my tongue was swollen and blood rimmed my broken teeth. Semen glistened within my mouth, my vagina and my anus.
The villagers knew there was no point in calling the police.
Deeply mourning their "missy" they carried my blanket wrapped body back to the village and buried it before the heat bloated it to bursting.
Miranda cried.

The Jains of my grandmother's homeland and the Hopi Indians know the truth of our being.
We are just a body which finally returns to the earth.
A body that may have been loved, lusted after, cuddled, kissed, abused, but finally just a collection of chemicals and water that returns to nurture the ground from which it sprang.
Our spirit which animated our life goes back into the great cosmos and emerges reborn in another form.
Here my spirit circles the great plains of Africa, a hawk, a falcon, soaring and swooping and weeping at the wickedness that still goes on and on below me.
Mankind can soar and mankind can sink into depravity and while ever the Great God PROFIT drives us we are condemned to rot eternally within ourselves.