Education is supposed to empower. Privilege is supposed to enable. I let my fear disrupt my will, and now I am paralyzed.
This all started two days ago at the university. There was a huge demonstration that turned violent. For the past five years, protests and social conflict have increasingly become violent and usually result in arrests, disappearances and even death by the hands of police. My group of human rights defenders has persisted to demand water for underserved folks and to boycott the draft. I had become so anxious and afraid that my sense of powerfulness and will waivered, and I withdrew from my activism. I chose to stay behind as they went ahead to the demonstration. I waited and waited, but they never returned. They were arrested. I don’t know if they are alive or dead.
I needed to leave the university. That’s when I met Kirsten. We had heard that there might be water here, and we set out on foot. We arrived this morning.
I hate me I hate me I hate me I hate me. I wish I could leave my body or my mind. Leave myself. I don’t know where I would go. But I know that I need to get somewhere, so I came here. I refuse to fight in a war over resources that are BASIC human rights.
There was a moment when we first arrived here in the desert. The women were hesitant to let us stay. “How do we know you aren’t betrayers?” “We have hardly enough water for us, if you were to join us we would only last a month before we ran out.” At that moment, I became frustrated at the territorial approach to water (or any natural resource for that matter). Sharing water should not be a question. Water is a part of the environment; it does not belong to only one people. It belongs to all. It is a human right! This same type of territorial thinking is what got us into this situation in the first place. This is the war we all refuse to fight!
They reminded themselves of their humanity, and they accepted us. I am grateful. How lucky am I to be a part of a community of strong women? Afortunada.
Each person receives 3 gallons for personal use. My head has been dully throbbing all day. I’ve been working on drinking down my first gallon since this morning. Maybe it’s the pace at which I drink that’s just not enough to keep me hydrated. *
If it weren’t for my stupid anxiety, then I wouldn’t have been separated from my people. I would know if they’re alive. I would have been there to tell them that I love them when they need to hear it! And now what?
Now I must hope to find peace in letting go.
I am thinking of my family.
I hope my siblings are okay.
Take care of each other please.
Know that I love you very much.
All right, all right. You were right. But here’s the thing… so was I.
Drink, pee, drink, pee, drink, pee… but my head still hurts.
*I tried electrolytes. The pain subsided only slighted. I gave in and took Advil. It’s gotta be my period.
We love you too <3 No part of you is stupid, not even your anxiety. Thank you for standing up for something that is so intrinsic to our nature. I hope more of you sprout from this parched earth.
You have to worry about water and food because they are essential to your survival, but IMO the worst part would be not knowing what happened to your family and friends. You have to accept that they might not have made it and hope that they did, then move on to your own survival. Love you, baby girl.
We love you. <3 You are experiencing sacrifice. Few embark on that journey. Thank you for walking it. Love you.