Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Seeing the Depths of Hell in a Hungry Child's Eyes

Dear President Mugabe,

I am haunted by the current situation in your country. I am haunted by the hunger I see in a little girl's eyes. I met her in a rural village that I cannot list here, for fear of danger to many lives. I do not know this child's name. She had walked many miles with her grandmother and younger brother to thank my friend for her gift of blankets. I look into those deep, hollow eyes and see through to the depths of hell. I cannot look away, terrified as I am by this images being thrust at me.

I am haunted by my memories of your country -- one that I cannot stop thinking about . Yet, I am forced into silence. To speak brings interrogation, punishment, even death. I am followed by horrific images as unwanted as a stalker that follows me to the car wash or out to dinner. The voice cries out in my head. I feel so spoiled, so privileged, so American -- and yet, so helpless. The helplessness is the worst of all feelings, for I cannot assist these kids or alleviate their condition. I have seen young girls who have been raped and abused. A common occurrence in Zimbabwe brought about by men who seek to rid themselves from HIV/AIDS by raping young virgins. I have talked to a doctor, shook the hand of a man who talks about the rape of a one-day-old girl. The ignorance and apathy is incomprehensible.

I have also seen the unintended consequences of celebrity adoptions in Africa. Men are going...

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