Diary Of The Privileged White Girl
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Diary Of The Privileged White Girl

The Mission Trip That Continues

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Diary Of The Privileged White Girl
Madison Novacek

Fargo, North Dakota:

I looked around my room and allowed the life sucking black cloud of guilt overcome me. All I saw were piles of worthless junk. For the first time, I agreed with my mom’s constant comments, “Madi, you have way too many clothes in your closet!” I had an interminable amount of shoes and socks. Socks. White socks, gray socks, socks with patterns, plain socks, too many socks for just my own two feet. I grew disgusted and angry at my materialistic surroundings, and myself. As I was lying in my colossal sized bed I couldn’t help but pull out my five hundred dollar iPhone and sift through the pictures from Africa. My eyes filled with tears that tasted like undeserved privilege.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

I looked around the room while trying to hold back from gagging. The stench of this particular orphanage was the worst yet. The best way I could familiarize the smell was an old barn back home, except with a twisted difference of it occupying tiny, adorable, hopeful little humans. However, these humans didn’t have anyone to claim them but the government funded nuns, and us white volunteers for the day. I gave a little boy socks. One pair of white plain socks, and his face transformed into a different child. I watched his eyes and mouth curve with wrinkles into joy and thankfulness. He turned into elation and I couldn’t help but let him melt into my arms for the rest of our hour together. He cried when I had to finally let him go. For some reason, my eyes couldn’t produce any tears, but my heart sobbed out helplessness.

Fargo, North Dakota:

All that I wanted to talk about was Africa; memories and stories poured out of my mouth like a leaky faucet. Everyone grew tired after a while though; they didn’t care much after the main points of my trip were covered. My mind was bursting with little moments that forever changed my being, just yearning for someone to listen and relate. I wanted someone to be just as stunned and moved when I presented all the trinkets I collected. Even though they seemed inadequate compared to my short but cathartic experience in Ethiopia. All I could do was anxiously wait and hope for someone to ask me questions about my trip so my thoughts could slowly unravel.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

All the children at the next orphanage wanted to talk about was my life in America. They begged to hear all my memories and stories. My phone was constantly being passed around to study my pictures, pictures that contained a distant world full of smiling faces that belonged to someone. They wanted to know all about my mom, dad, brothers and friends. They would beg me to tell them their names and precise details about our daily habits. It was like I was a movie screen in which they could watch their favorite fantasized characters come alive. I was the storybook with the “happily ever after” ending they prayed to have one day. Their eyes were stained with anticipation, and I held too much influence for comfort.

Fargo, North Dakota:

I was disgusted by the conversations around me anywhere I went. My own family’s discussions at the dinner table became meaningless and nauseating. What’s the point of talking about our daily inconveniences when we could be coming up with a plan? A plan to stop all the poverty I was invited to witness a week before. I almost lost it when two women in the checkout line before me were complaining about needing a new car soon while emptying her two bulky chock-full carts on the counter. Hers was a perfectly working 2003 model, and clearly it was time to upgrade. I could barely bring myself to hang out with friends. I knew they cared but just couldn’t comprehend. I had to force myself to get excited about the things I used to. I had to force myself not cry when discussing what we were going to wear and buy for our upcoming girls road trip.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

I was intrigued by the conversations around me everywhere I went. They would tell me about how God is so good, how beautiful and short life is, and to take in every moment as sacred, irreplaceable. I couldn’t fathom how beautifully crafted their language was, and how dull English came off. Yet English was the more worldly desired tongue. For those who knew enough to have a conversation, they always had such fulfilling things to say. Even those who couldn’t speak any English at all, their hearts spoke for them. It was almost as if our interactions cut deeper without the obstacle of words. Running around barefoot in the mud, laughing uncontrollably, and being held while examining our different skin tones was more than I had every imagined to fall in love with the five hundred different heartbeats.

Fargo, North Dakota:

I took my dog for a walk one afternoon to the familiar park across the street. I was hoping to be alone so I could clear my thoughts and talk to God. I still felt this angry guilt in my heart. I was torn between liking the new vision I saw things through, and not letting it consume me completely. There were several kids taking advantage of the generous summer sunshine on the playground.

“Tag!” shouted one of the taller boys as he shoved the little girl next to him to the cool muddy ground.

She was covered in mud and raging tears; her knee sprouted a newly bright raspberry. Within seconds her mom came to scoop her up like a doll and cradle her to comfort. She then power walked her way to the other side of the playground where the two boys were pushing each other aggressively on the tire swing.

“Go over to your sister, and apologize right now! Her new dress is covered in mud, and her leggings are ripped. You ruined her clothes and now we have to leave so we can get her cleaned up!”

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

Korah was the name of the community we were visiting today. Korah is an urban slum that lives off the monumental dump from the city. There’s no running water, the ground is full of sewage, HIV, prostitution, malnutrition, and orphans complete the borders within the village. We only had several hours to clean up and change the children in new clothes has fast as possible. A girl around the age of twelve handed me a baby that was wrapped around her. He was swaddled on her back like my school bag and he looked at me with a vacant stare. When I finally got the scarf off that was holding him I saw that he was completely naked. No clothes, no diaper, just filth. It took me a whole package of wet wipes to get the dirt and feces off of him. I noticed his legs were bent in an unnatural way and he couldn’t stand or walk on his own. After he was semi-cleaned up I looked out the door of the shelter we were in and the twelve-year-old girl wasn't around. He had nobody to claim him, nobody to scoop him up and cradle him back to comfort.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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