So Human Rights Day came and went and I can’t help but wonder how many people actually took notice of the day.
As you might know from my previous post, I took up the Barefoot Against Poverty Challenge for 30 days. On Thursday (day1) I was surprised with a live on-air interview with 94.5 KFM in which Lee Downs undertook to also go barefoot on 10 December.
Day 2 (Human Rights Day) I was very surprised when my colleague “Mardied” also showed up for work barefoot. I was surprised, because it is for people like her that I took up the challenge to start with. She does not live in luxury by a long shot, but I have never heard her complain once. It still amazes me that she can take up the challenge but others deem themselves to good to act. Someone asked me why I am doing this and after hearing my explanation, turned around and said “some people will do anything for attention”. This of course had my blood boiling. Lady, I am going barefoot by choice and hope that you will also always have the choice. I really hope that you will never be forced to have to do it as all other options have run out. I was also very happy to learn that the campaign reached the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the High Commissioner of the Council applauded everyone for going barefoot on the day! Day 2 also saw me becoming friends with a Human Rights Activist from Uganda. It is amazing which untold stories float by us on a daily basis simply because we don’t take time to talk to people.
Day 3 (Saturday) was a very emotional one for me. I woke up on the morning with aching feet. I had 3 thorns in my soles, buried too deep to dig out, blisters on the ball of both feet and just general discomfort. I took some extra time to thank God that I am doing this by choice and not because I have to.
My husband, son and myself went to Diazville to join Pastor Bernard Sheldon and his wife at the Harvestime Ministries annual Community Christmas outreach to hand out the goodies collected at the recent Elvis Blue performance in Langebaan. They are such incredible people. Upon arrival we were met by about 200 people anxiously waiting for food. I joined them on the back of the trailer for a drive through Hopland. One lady was dressed as Santa and we all had bags of sweets to hand out to the kids. I will never forget the pure joy on the children’s faces. They are so hungry for something to eat, something nice. It really touched me to the core and words fail me.
We returned to the open field where the food and gifts were being distributed. You know the saying “one man’s junk is another’s treasure”? I saw that in action. I was there to witness their joy at being handed a plate of hot food. Nothing fancy, but a full plate of hot food that they do not need to share with anyone. All of this was made possible by donations. Pastor Sheldon and his wife have been doing it for the past 13 years and it is becoming increasingly difficult with rising cost to make this a reality. I was there to witness the joy on a child’s face at receiving a story book, never mind the fact that the cover is torn or it might have a missing page or two. The joy at receiving a toy truck, never mind the fact that they it’s missing a wheel. It is heart breaking and I put it to you that if you can watch that without some emotion, you are simply not human. I took so many photo’s of the kids that I forgot to snap one of my feet, which was taking a lot of strain on the open field, strewn with thorns, rocks and pieces of glass – all of which no-one else seemed to notice. I guess after going barefoot for a while you become use to it.
Today we had a relaxing day going to the mall and the beach. The road was hot, very hot and for the first time ever I was glad to reach the shade. You see, it is a well known fact amongst my family and friends that I never get too hot and never seek out the shade. I simply love the sun and spend us much time possible soaking it up.
I have never considered myself to be a judgemental person, but I am also just human and must admit that (as we all do) I have sometime in the past looked at someone and criticized what they were wearing, even if only in my mind. I never thought anything of this, that is until today. I had to laugh at some of the people. They look at you, look down to scrutinize what you are wearing, pause at the bare feet, flash up to your eyes, back down to the feet and then (I swear) you can see them turning the stiff upper lip before they walk past you. It was quite comical, I must admit.
This 30 day journey is turning out to be much more than just a stance against Poverty. It is turning into a spiritual journey of self-discovery and I am very interested in seeing where it will lead me.
Goodbye until next time, have fun and count your blessings everyday!