The universe is made of stories, not atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser

Since being in Africa I have seen so many faces. I have seen so many people. I have seen so many stories. It pains me that we are unable to hear all of them. While this is a common feeling for me it has intensified since my arrival to a country full of people who have suffered so much.

 

At the Rachele Comprehensive Secondary School we heard the story of a boy who was abducted by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army at a young age and forced to commit atrocious acts as a child soldier. At a refugee camp we heard the story of a woman who had been shot three times (and is consequently handicapped) by rebels soldiers when they attacked her humble village. We heard the story of Mama Angeline whose daughter Charlotte was kidnapped from her boarding school, St. Mary’s at 14 and not returned to her for seven years. 

 

These types of stories are not uncommon here. We have experienced some heart-breaking scenarios and witnessed poverty and strife in ways that I could never have imagined before this trip. 

 

I wish that I could hear every one of the stories that people want to tell me. I wish that we had time to walk down the roads that we drive down and, instead of passing people, stop and talk to them. I want to befriend them. Learn from them. And tell them that their story matters. 

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