My friend is going to Haiti. She told me she's going without the inoculations and prophylaxis that protect against Cholera and Malaria. I know I should mind my own business because she's a healthcare professional who's been there many times and knows what she's doing. But I can't help the remembering.
I remember my friend's servant returning after an absence asking for funeral money for a child taken by Cholera. I remember the sound of her tears. And I remember my friend's mother crying to us with red rimmed eyes "why didn't she come sooner?".
I remember walking in the kampung seeing the poor bathe their children downstream from the privies on stilts and shaking our heads. I remember the man who lost a knife fight slumped against the wall, bleeding out, everyone watching him die. And the sounds and smells of the electricity thief who touched the wrong wire....bacon. And the ragdoll acrobatics of a man struck by a speeding car, flopping broken to the ground. So much death, so random, so pointless.
So I can understand why she would ask "why should I be protected when all those around me live so exposed? Why should I be privileged?"
I don't know. I have no answers. All I can hear are a mother's tears. And it is the worst sound that I've ever heard.