Are we doing the right thing? Notes inspired by a Relief Camp Visit

The hollowed walls of a school to be have now been converted to a make shift relief camp. The media would have screamed about the incompetency of such a place, which neither has no electricity, no gas, no running water, and no sanitary arrangements. They would have you believe that they are being treated worse than animals and that the government has proved to be completely incompetent in making their stay enjoyable.

But lets be honest to ourselves, they really didn’t live in a house that had electricity, gas or running water, their lives were just as much hard, if not more than what the images are showing now. The only true thing that we can mourn about is the lose of their homes where they must have made several memories, the loss of their crops on which they must have worked everyday from twilight to dusk, the landscape of their villages that must have changed forever. Anything more than that is simply an exaggeration of the their condition based on our standards.

Yesterday, in the hollowed halls of that school, the spirit slowly faded down as a sudden realization dawned on me that maybe we are not doing anything good for them. Our efforts have been simply to enforce further the idea within them that they have nothing, while we are the blessed one. Our efforts are simply making life easy for just a moment, when in reality, in a few months after they return to their homes we would forget about them and they would know that their lives have nothing.

The spirit vanished as the smells of nausea, disgust, took over me, the spirit vanished after seeing the yet-not-functional bathrooms covered with human discharge. I wanted to throw up, or at least run away. So I diverted my attention to something else. I, for that brief moment of visit, became their official entertainer. Seeing a camera around my neck, the kids decided to pose one after the other. They touched my lens, they made me take their pictures, and then saw the results, only to bring back their friends and showing them their images to their jealous friends. It was a welcome distraction!

Here are the faces of the Flood!

To see the full stream of pistures, please see my Flickr Page.

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