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Can We Talk?

I’m sitting here in my house, modest by American standards, a mansion by many country standards.  I get to sip my coffee with a full belly, as I meditate on the information rolling around wildly in my head.  How can I grasp this concept?  How can we be so blind?

In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are 56 million orphans! That is shocking, but can I tell you what shocks me more?  That 27% of those poor children are orphaned by HIV. 

Out of the nearly 150 million orphans world wide, it is said that more orphans are in Ethiopia than any other country.

Are you kidding me?  A country roughly twice the size of Texas is home to FIVE MILLION orphans.  How can that be? 

These are just statistics though, numbers of shock value, but not numbers that our minds can really be wholly wrapped around.  It is just a nugget of truth to quickly tug at our heartstrings; before we go about our merry days filled with complaining, overindulgence, and overspending.  I do not write that to induce guilt, only to put into perspective how we can be so wrapped up in our own small lives, that we can be blinded to a major crisis worldwide.

There are a dozen countries in which a quarter of their children are orphaned.  That means an entire generation has been nearly wiped clean from existence.  I can’t imagine what that means to the youth.  In America, we have social services, they step in when children are left unattended, uncared for, orphaned. 

In Africa, there are not enough resources.  There are not enough adults.

A two year old toddler could be living on a sidewalk, the roof of his childhood home is just a piece of tin and cardboard.  His filthy bed a conglomeration of rags and plastic bags.  When the rains come, he is told to lie down within the plastic bags, listening as his mother coughs violently from the tuberculosis that has ravaged her lungs.  Her body weak from the virus that has ripped away her health, knowing her little boy, her sweet baby will soon be alone…..Her heart cannot bare the ache that knows he will be wondering the streets aimlessly, possibly trampled by the livestock that invade the streets, or worse….picked up by the evil ones.  The ones that take children into the place to be used as sex slaves.  How can she save him, who can she turn to?

Can we talk about the fact that this is a very common scenario in Africa?  This little boy and his mother are but two of MILLIONS.  And I am angry.  I am angry that there is not global awareness really doing anything to help them.  I am angry that I live in a state that worships college basketball, that spends half a million dollars just to recruit basketball players.  People spark outrage against referees but turn a blind eye to the starving, the sick, the abandoned. 

A majority of Ethiopians live off of $2 a day.  Did you go out to dinner this month and spend more than $60 on just one meal?  I know I did.  Just 20% of them live off of $1 or less a day, and sometimes do not even get one meal. 

Obesity in American costs $147 BILLION per year.  I’m chunky myself, and I must admit, I’m saddened.  How can this country spend 147 billion dollars a year for something that is most definitely preventable, because if it weren’t, all of the people of Africa would be “suffering” as well. 

So let’s put that in perspective.  In Africa, approximately every 13 SECONDS, someone dies from AIDS.  In America, 90% of people with HIV can live their lives with the antiviral drugs they are routinely given.  Do you know how much it would cost to help those in Africa?  It is estimated that it would cost about $20 Billion per year to control the pandemic.

Wait…we spend $147 billion for obesity, but we could completely reform an entire country of dying, suffering, starving, with just $20 billion….

It gets worse.  The world’s richest countries contribute less than $5 billion each year.  It is projected that our government wastes nearly $120 billion here.  This makes me outraged.  You have people rioting, standing in the streets, Al Sharpton yelling racial inequality….HELLO!

There is an entire country dying away.  They are dying from starvation, lack of clean water, HIV, malaria, TB, and so much more.  They are DYING.  I’ve seen some very famous celebrities jumping on the bandwagon, preaching against inequality, driving around in a $250,000 car.  A car.  A piece of extremely overpriced machinery used to get a person from point A to point B. 

I am angry that I see someone on television saying that they hate this country, they only see fat white people, and they feel more of a connection to their “home country” even though they weren’t born there.  YET, that person creates music to brag about their possessions, their useless pieces of excess, while the people of their home country lay in the streets watching their babies cry in hunger, to weak to hold them, lost and forgotten…..

Can we just talk about all of this?

Can we stop talking about the Kardashians; the blue dress or whatever color it is; the funny cat that does so many tricks; the pop star who bared all in a daring move; the crap generated by the propaganda machine that is created to condition our brains to seek the senseless information and ignore the horror that is happening in our world.

Can we talk about the fact that economies are crumbling, people are being trafficked as sex slaves in alarming numbers, mothers are dying while holding their babies, teenagers are being turned out into the streets with no hope, no guidance, no education, and no one to care about them.  I am asked all of the time why we would want to adopt another child.  It’s because I care.  We care.  I do not have any special magic powers that enables me to be some kind of super mom, I don’t have some secret trust fund, I don’t have anything but a caring heart and a supportive husband and a BIG God.

Can we just talk about something real?  Please….

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