• December 14, 2017

A Gold Heart nestled in a Garbage Dump

by Sofia P., on mis­sion in Senegal

     Have you ever asked the ques­tions: Why me? Why now? Why like this? Some of these ques­tions flew through my mind on my last trip to Mbeubeus (Dakar’s garbage dump) with my sister in com­mu­nity, Ania. We were in Antoinette’s hut, when it began raining. The wind picked up and the garbage around us began to fly. We all helped Antoinette hold the shack down, as the wind threat­ened to carry it away. At one moment Ania, who had some­what of a cold, sneezed and Antoinette imme­di­ately said, “You guys have to go! Why do you stay here?”
     I took the chance to visit another friend, Aminata, and she echoed Antoinette. “Don’t stay—you should go!” My back was now wet and Ania con­tinued sneezing so I finally agreed and said goodbye to our friends. Antoinette left her hut and stood in the rain with us to help us hail a truck leaving the dump.
     Why do I get to leave and not Antoinette or Aminata? How did I get blessed with the ability to go on mis­sion for 2 years, while there are women my age or younger breaking their backs for a living at the dump because they have sev­eral kids to feed at home? Only God knows. Then, on another level, I was deeply moved by my friends’ con­cern for Ania’s well-being. Compassion, “suf­fering with” someone, is what I expe­ri­enced as Antoinette stood next to us in the rain, choosing to become com­pletely soaked in order to make sure that Ania and I made it back home safely.

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