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Posts Tagged ‘aid work’

25. Kenya (Nairobi, 2000)

A city of one million.
Most in full-time employment.
Commuters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers.
Laughter beside corrugated iron shanties:
children playing games in dirt alleys.
A neat blue clinic nurtures modest dreams
amidst the stench and grime.
Health for all.
The Nubian-named ‘forest’ of Kibera:
Biggest slum in Africa.

jpm

Dedicated to the MSI Kenya mini-clinic team of Kibera.

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20. Bangladesh

It’s 50°C and temperatures are rising.
Hidden beneath the colourful, tattered veils of conservative Chittagong,
the modest matrons as young as eighteen shelter chastely from prying male eyes.
Squatting on swept dirt floors,
they chatter with bawdy, eye-popping, side-splitting aplomb about their husbands’ inadequacy ‘indoors’.
Butter wouldn’t melt!

jpm

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16. The Philippines (Manila)

Call it research.
Sex workers learning how to protect themselves from HIV.
A client calls – I’m hurriedly bundled in amidst the girls.
He hesitates on his slow inspection, eyeing me speculatively.
‘Not this one’ says the brothel owner.
Cool as anything.
Not me: I’m all sweaty relief and bug eyes!

jpm

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10. Pakistan

There’s nothing worse than being kidnapped inadvertently.  Wrong place, wrong time.  Karachi 1995.  Dangerous times.  Rationalising my heart out until I couldn’t deny it any longer – I was definitely in strife.  Until.  A mutual realisation of mistaken identity dawned on my accidental captor and me……  Halle-bloody-lullah!  Now I can laugh.

jpm

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