Monday, July 26, 2010
This is my friend Emilina from Mali. She is one of the strongest and creative woman I have ever met. For over 10 years she is working as an African buffalo keeper: physically heavy work, all day in the hot sun. Twelve days in a row, from 6 a.m. until 4 p.m. and then 2 days off. She earns around 120 euros per month and lives in a shed next to the buffalos. She does not have children and does not know anybody in South Africa, except to her husband and 3 other colleagues. She never has time or money to do something next her work. Without social security and treated 'as a black woman in the conservative South African bush', which is far from good. That her life. When we see each other, she ALWAYS is charming, cheerful and truely interested. She manages to look like a lady with 'fashionable' old clothes, ear rings and many different hats. Of course I try to be there for her, but she is also there for me. Last week she gave me a bag full of avocados; I was not allowed to refuse. This woman has dignity! Lots of respect. The huge gap between our worlds (we don't even speak the same language) does not interfere with a connection from human to human, from heart to heart. We are friends!