Things You Don’t Have to Read

It very honestly was horrifying. I was terrified
that this is the world we exist in. The convoy was heading
north on a red dirt road from Jo’burg

toward Limpopo. One of the vehicles had a blowout. The whole
parade had to stop. I am the only white woman in my bus/van thing

I was in with twenty unfamiliar faces. There was smoke rising
from the ground in every direction with trash and filth

as far as I could see. One of the men in charge came to
the vehicle and told us how dire the situation was. We had broken

down on top of a burning coal mine, the rubber tires will surely
start to blow more because of the heat, and it is illegal to walk on this

road. He instructed us to drink milk to clean the poison of the air
out of our lungs. This region was riddled with lung issues.

Tuberculosis. A Tutsi man, from Uganda, was seated next to me,
Beckar was his name. He gives me a glass bottle of yellow

milk. Said in an accent I didn’t understand, Drink, it
will help. At least you can

trick your mouth from coughing. I took the warm
milk. He asked me if I was scared. Indeed I was, so looking

down I told him so. I’ve heard the stories of what goes
on in this place, and I can’t understand it. But you are kind

and generous, thank you. He put his arm around me. We got on.
The tire was changed, then we proceeded in the direction of true horrors

that no fiction could make up.

Babies found in the smoking trash. Indentured
servitude. Total and complete destructions
to humanity all in the name of some guy’s profit.

Entire countries dying from indifference to human suffering.

 

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