When I went on Friday I only went with one girl. There are two girls that I would sort of classify as class clowns among the group and she is one of them. She’s hilarious and fun. Hasn’t learned yet when to stop or when people have had enough, but she’s still a kid. She’s about 12 and has been somewhat of my shadow lately. Which is really cute, and kind of tiring. But I love it.
Everyone else was busy with their washing so just the two of us went to the market. I needed a few things and she wanted to buy new flip-flops and knickers. She’d been saving her bead pocket money (Yeah!!) so she could get the things.
As we were walking there, a few times, she pulled my arm so I’d walk less on the road and more on the side. She likes to play, and pulls on me with some regularity, actually. (Lately I feel like a doll for the girls. They play with my hair, and throw me around, and even pick out my clothes sometimes.) So I wasn’t taking her that seriously. I mean, I know how to walk on a road. I’m an adult. But then later on she told me that she has been hit twice by bodas (motorcycles). She said one she fell on her head and it hit so hard that when she got up she didn’t even know who she was.
She’s a chatterbox and on the way she was telling me about the times she still lived on the street. We walked by one area and she told me about the time her and her friends were beaten there. A man broke bones of one of her friends and beat her. She talked about how they could never sleep at night. They had to stay awake because of the many criminals about. I look at her now and she is in school, can speak English. She dresses well and scolds me about my messy room. It’s crazy, right? Just a few years ago she was running about on the streets. A kid without a future. Being abused. Surely would have children by now or very soon and, unless rescued from the streets, likely doomed to HIV, malnutrition, alcoholism, and eventual early death.
I’ve never noticed it on my previous trips to the market with the girls, but with it just being the two of us I noticed how she would keep and eye on me. Make sure I was there, and even insisting on walking behind me in some parts to make sure no one stole from my bag. Every time someone would make a comment to me as we were walking she would tell me not to say anything back. It is a very humbling thing to have a 12 year old feel responsible for your safety.
She’ll never have her innocence back. That was taken from her way too soon in life and it is not something that can be taken back. But she has been given a new life. Life! She is getting and education and opportunities! People love her and taker care of her. She is safe now and the girl can sleep at night instead of fearing the evil that lurked about around her before. So in spite of what she has been through she is a survivor. A miracle.
Her worth has not increased. She was precious as a dirty street girl and she is still precious now. She contains as much of the fingerprint of God now as she had before. So much wasted life out there. I rejoice in the work of my boss and the work of so many others who work so dang hard to make changes. Who act on the injustice and anger they feel. They’re bringing heaven to earth.