Beat the Drum!
Some of the BTC travelers to South Africa watched a movie called Beat the Drum last night at the Pan African Film Festival.
The movie was about a young Zulu boy who left his village to find work in the big city of Johannesburg. His entire village was being wiped out by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Upon his arrival to Joberg, he quickly realized that his task would not be very easy, nor that this city was all that it seemed. Joberg too was caught in the middle of a HIV/AIDS epidemic and being a street kid made things that much worse. Through some very emotional twists and turns, the boy finally makes some friends, finds some money and touches the hearts of those who help him.
I am sure the movie impacted many of the travelers to South Africa. I personally found myself connecting back to our recent experiences as soon as I heard the local language again.
After the movie, a panel discussion ensued. I am still processing the information from the panel session. A lot of questions remain unanswered. How does racism, corruption, unemployment, apathy, illiteracy, poverty, and HIV/AIDS tie into our role here in the United States?
After our return from South Africa, I recall a recent conversation that I had with a friend: “its feels like we left them behind”.
There is a lot of hope and yet a lot of apathy that continues to exist. Some of you may have heard of our experiences in Kenya where life threatening health conditions were not only widespread, but also largely ignored. Part of the experience of returning from a developing nation is to ask the question, how does my life change the way others live?
… or to continue asking the question that service asks of us every day, what now can we do for others?