As I close my eyes and picture my life in Guelph, I am frustrated by how little I appreciated my surroundings and all that I have. I am challenged by the idea of choice. Within a simple day at school, I can bike, walk or take a bus; within each of these I have at least five routes that I can take. When I arrive at school, I can get coffee at more than ten locations within a one kilometer radius and have over 100+ options for food. Today, I completed the final day of my village stay. I spent one week in one village (Otorulee) and a few days in another (Alwars). In rural life, the word ‘choice’ seems insignificant. Day in day out, the women walk many kilometres water, something that flows freely; I could roll out of bed, walk two steps and fill up the same size jug that would take at least an hour to fill in the village. The ease of living to which I have become accustomed, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. From dusk to dawn, my host mother, Mary, works tirelessly to put food in her childrens’ mouths and to offer good water to drink. She wipes every tear, settles every fight and supports other women in the community. Mary does this day in day out; her life seems predetermined. In the village, women marry at an early age, they have children, they must know how to cook and please their husbands, and must learn to grow a tough skin since the life they will lead will be paired with many challenges. This is not an option or choice, this is reality. What Mary works tirelessly to achieve in a day, I brush off in as a small chore and enter into a world where choice is endless and opportunity to do with my life what I CHOOSE is unquestioned.
Written on May 31st, 2012


1 Comment

Filed under Body, Heart

One response to “Choice.

  1. Karina

    Hey Emily!
    It sounds like you are getting tough skin yourself. It’s really staggering when you start to see the world from that perspective. It makes the phrase “increasing opportunity” so much more candid and personal.
    Thank your for your commitment to learn, care, and strive to create that opportunity.
    Sending lots of EWB love from McMaster, I know this time in placement is pretty taxing.

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