Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Masai character

In light of all that is cruel going on in Kenya, I went back to some interviews I did there with a Masai last year. He told me about his circumcision, and about women's circumcision ceremonies.

Man or woman, when you are circumcised, you should not show fear or pain. During his circumcision, he stood with arms stretched out from his body, hands flat. Because he did not show fear in his eyes, and his hands did not shake, he was given a cow as a reward for his bravery.

Here, he talks about the value of bravery in the Masai culture. He also discusses generosity. I think this dialogue is a nice follow up to yesterday's post.

Here are the audio clips:
Bravery
Generosity
Generosity - results


When you visit me, I will show you the knife this Masai is holding. He was kind enough to let me take it home. I later received a letter from the Masai I visited and was able to send them a photo album of my time there. I hope desperately to return and see them all alive and well.

Slaves - is it my job to free them?

I'm on a shoot this week, a video that teaches people with diabetes how to shop for food. George, the actor, is also a producer for the World on CNN, so you can imagine I'm having a lovely time chatting with him.

Tonight I looked at the CNN website and ran across this story about sex slaves in Britain.

For years I've had a feeling that a house near Sarah's old school was a brothel, and have wondered if girls worked there against their wills. If so, why would the police not clamp down on it?

Well, after unsuccessfully begging police to close the crack house next to my rental house for over NINE MONTHS now, I imagine that brothels and possible trafficked girls are low priority.

When I tell police we saw 10 drug deals go down in broad daylight in the space of 4 hours and they say there is really nothing they can do, then what will they say when I tell them that I suspect a brothel with possible sex slaves in an unmarked house with blackened windows and a privacy fence where only men visit at all hours?

On the way home from work today I heard a story about women losing freedom now in Iraq. During the story, I kept thinking, why aren't we women standing up for our sisters?!

There are many examples of brave women who stood up (or, thank you Rosa, sat down) for others. What made them do it? What made them step out and face fear to fight injustice?

I'd love your comments on women you admire and on what you think it takes to stand up and help save the lives of other women.