The water is gone again from the house. Amanda would like to wash her hair. I would also like to wash. I find myself wondering how those who live in the tin hovels we pass everyday wash. We experienced begging on an exponential scale today. It's a public holiday and generosity is expected I think. Some mothers send their children chasing after us, a woman walks next to us for half a mile holding a baby with one hand and extending the other for money. One man grabs Manda, then he grabs me and when he realises he's not getting anything he gives me a good shove on the shoulder. I find myself getting angry at these people. People who seem to be using their children to beg, or who get aggressive when you don't give them anything. Then immediately I feel guilty.
The problem is vast and really unfathomable and when confronted on a personal level it is easy to regress to an 'I can't help you' mentality. And in some ways its true. If you give money it may well be spent on things other than food and it's not going to solve anything. They'll still be hungry tomorrow. Poverty is endemic in this country. I'm not sure what it is that can help. It's difficult and frustrating if you think about it too hard. But then I am reminded of something that Mother Theresa said:
'There are no great deeds, only small deeds done with great love.'
While I don't agree with Mother Theresa on other points, this is one I keep coming back to out here. If you can raise a smile by shaking a hand then you should do it, if you can teach a song or a game then do. Who knows? It might make all the difference.