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Debrief from the plane - The trip back to reality

MADAGASCAR | Saturday, 15 May 2010 | Views [423]

About 5minutes after the green and brown of Madagascar was no longer in sight from my window seat, I realised, I am completely exhausted. It’s not just a lack of sleep either, I am truly tired. I am hungry. I am hungry for clean, nutritious, western food; a shower, where swallowing the water won’t make me sick; my mp3 and familiar words; and once the onboard meal was served, I realised how much I craved the taste of western chocolate.

After the on-off sickness of the past week, I’ve also developed a slight fear and suspicion of all food. The thought that everything served to me had been prepared under hygienic standards, the produce from rigorously tested sources and washed using only clean water... was bliss.

The thoughts feel so wrong in my head, like I’m betraying my now beloved Madagascar when I’ve barely left her soil. However, it also made me think how lucky I am to be able to pick up and go home (wherever home may be) just because I want to. To run away from the dirt, and pollution, and beggars because they are somehow beneath my way of life. Isn’t it insane?

This is the home of millions of people who while loving their country, would jump at the chance to have clean water, food and first world infrastructure and economy. These people have no choice but to grow and live as best they can in these conditions, yet they do it with a big smile and light heart. If we think we deserve what we have (which I see rather as our momentary privilege but in no way a right) then why don’t they? How long will it take? Will they? How can we help? Is it up to us to help? How can we not???

 

Think. Discuss. Sleep. Tomorrow I’ll have forgotten all about it.

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