Sunday, February 14, 2010

 

A Valentine's Day Story

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/14/world/africa/14malawi.html?scp=2&sq=malawi&st=cse

This article is tough to read. It brought to mind a sentence by one of my favourite prose writers, Lorrie Moore: "Life is sad. Here is somebody". But, my G-d, life can be so sad. How amazing to find someone you can walk with. These men were forced off the road. It makes my heart so heavy.

Comments:
So strange that you put the Malawi story up today.

Thanks for sharing this story, and I know what you mean about making your heart heavy and I wish I could say I was optimistic about certain african cultures becoming more understanding about homosexuality.

The more I learn about the increasingly huge stronghold fundamentalism has on African societies, the slower it seems we're getting to any real change or remedy.

Most of my work at the moment is trying to combat similar accusations of "satanism" towards the medical research place I work at where a small number of African newspapers have misunderstood and ultimately twisted the results of a clinical trial we were trying to accomplish to prevent help HIV by giving women a method that would help them take control.

All concepts of reason and logic that I would understand or go to go out the window when you have very frightened people facing something which they think will damn them.

I've already spent most of the weekend feeling very overwhelmed (e.g. taking up smoking again after a lengthy absence) about what I've got to do to fix this and seeing your post has given me some perspective, so thank you.

The only thing I can offer in return really is that by pure coincidence, my favourite primary school teacher now runs an AIDS orphanage in Blantyre. If you ever need inspiring, these are the people to do it. http://www.openarmsmalawi.org/

No place is ever just about one thing.

So yeah. Perspective, perspective...and menthol cigarettes.
 
I feel Lorrie Moore could capture all of this in a bittersweet short story, a la "Birds of America." She's one of my favorites as well.

Thanks for linking the article, heartbreaking but important read.
 
Why is the world supporting this government? Obviously it would collapse without foreign aid; the story says 40 percent of the budget comes from foreign aid. So, it's our tax dollars putting gays in prison.
 
And they've just been found 'guilty'- likely to get 14 years with labour.
 
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