Late last week as my husband and I were taking our evening walk, we happened upon a heart wrenching scene. Right in the middle of the path lay a semi-conscious middle aged woman flanked by her two young children. The woman was on her way back home following an unsuccessful day of job hunting in a town center 40 kms away. According to the children the mother had not had anything to eat for two days and had not taken any water the whole of that day. She had collapsed from extreme dehydration.
I grew up knowing that all the people who live in Somalia are starving. If your household was anything like ours then you know of the “incentive” some mothers would use to ensure that their kids finish their carrots, pumpkins or other eeky veggies. (To this day I still cannot stomach cooked carrots, pumpkin or french beans)! When this incentive failed (which it inevitably did), she would threaten us with a severe beating and we would have to sit at the table till every single morsel was off the plate. Luckily we had cats and the felines quickly learnt whose feet to sit at under the table for discreet food drops when mum wasn’t watching.
I always used to wonder though, what did eating my carrots have to do with starving Somali people? Like, if perhaps I didn’t finish my food, could it then be shipped off to feed one of them?