The last few days were more challenging. We had a long trip from Choma back to Lusaka, where we joined a team from NY and participated in another camp. I was very ready to go home at this point, and since it wasn’t really “our” camp, we felt that we didn’t have much to do. However, it was on the last day that I had one of the more significant experiences from the trip. After lunch, during a time where all I really wanted was to be along, I decided to sit next to a girl who was sitting by herself. After only talking for a few minutes, she told me that her father had left her family and they had no money. She went off to find work and was raped in the process. Her mother blames her for the rape. It’s a common story in that part of the world, but I was suddenly looking into the face of it. I didn’t really know what to tell her at first, except over and over again that it wasn’t her fault, and no, she wasn’t ruined. My attitude suddenly took a turn at that point. Was it worth it to travel across the world to tell this young girl that it wasn’t her fault she was raped? Yes, even if for no other reason than for that.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Durik is a photographer located in Naples, FL.