Saturday, November 29, 2008


Some of you have e-mailed me to express your shock and outrage after viewing Dispatches: Saving Africa's Witch Children. Although I obviously had a strong response, it is still surprising that so many of you thought and felt the exact same things that I thought and felt, even though I didn't blog about my reaction. It is also reassuring. I wanted everyone to see for themselves, and so I did not want to write too much, and I am glad that I didn't. A picture is worth a thousand words. 

If you haven't had the chance to watch the videos yet, please take the time to watch. Some of the images are not "easy" to see, but you can still listen to what they are saying, even if you have to turn away for a few seconds. Feel free to comment. Continue to e-mail me. Here is a link to Stepping Stones Nigeria's website, for those of you that are interested in learning more or sending money to help them. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

The best medicine

My husband and I do not like to argue. We do disagree and discuss, but no yelling, fuming, mud-slinging arguments. It's just not our style. We try not to go to bed angry at one another, even if that means getting little sleep. So far, this has been a simple task. The reason this is so easy for us is that he has two essential skills: 1)he does not get angry easily and 2)he can make me laugh when I am angry. 

With this in mind, we were talking the other day about the various ways that spouses settle disagreements. In this conversation, he reminded me that no matter how upset I am with him, he knows that he can make me laugh and clear the air. So, I told him that I would do like American women, and make my husband sleep on the couch. A little confused, he asked where the wife sleeps.
"In the bed."
"In their bed?"
"And the husband sleeps on the couch?"
"The wife kicks the husband out of their bedroom, and he has to sleep on the couch in the living room."
Silence. Then laughter.
"If you told me I couldn't sleep in our bed, I would just go to the children's bedroom."
Chuckle. I tried to imagine him willingly leaving our bedroom like the men on TV, and I knew it was almost impossible. "You'd sleep in there?" 
"No. Play. Play with the baby. Make noise. Play games. Have a lot of fun. We would be so loud you would beg me to stop."
All I could do was laugh. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dispatches: Saving Africa's Witch Children

After a conversation with one of my aunts, my mother asked me to look up a show called Saving Africa's Witch Children. Apparently, it aired on Channel 4 (in the UK) a few days ago and caused quite a stir, at least in my aunt's circle. She stated that she only watched the first 10 minutes, it was so disturbing, but suggested that we try and watch it.

So, with the help of google, we tracked it down. I like to watch documentaries and "based on a true story" movies, my most recent Netflix movies included Rabbit Proof Fence (Australia's Stolen Generation), The Business of Being Born (self explanatory), Hurricane Katrina: A Requiem in Three Acts (also self explanatory), The Devil Came on Horseback (Conflict in Darfur) and Fidel (Castro, of course). Although it was a little difficult to find, my love of documentaries propelled me to keep searching, and finally youtube proved fruitful. I prefer to let those of you that are interested formulate your own opinions, and so I will post the links to the youtube videos (it is broken up into 6 segments). 

I would like to say that a few things about the presentation annoyed me. 

1) The events chronicled take place in Nigeria, the entire show was filmed in Nigeria, and yet the title of the program is Saving Africa's Witch Children. Why couldn't it be called "Saving Nigeria's Witch Children"? I have a few guesses about the answer to that question, and they all frustrate me.

2) Although I know that people are people, and I shouldn't see race, I do. The world just isn't there yet (despite the fact that Obama is the president-elect of the US). And unfortunately there were moments when I was watching when it looked like a white man coming in to save the black man from himself. Although I do NOT condone what is being done, and I applaud ANYONE of any race that is trying to make a difference, because of the ways in which most African nations and people are viewed and portrayed, it still bothers me when there is a tilt, however subtle, towards the idea of savage, uncivilized, barbarian Africans and their need to be lifted out of their darkness (pun intended). I do not think it was intentional, and they did show at least two Nigerian men that are making a difference so perhaps that is redeeming.

3) This television show made me think, again, about the power of religion. Over and over and over again I see people use God as their cover. Child abuse. Robbery. Rape. Murder. All in the "name" of God. It makes me sick.

Watch it.

Saving Africa's Witch Children Part 1

Saving Africa's Witch Children Part 2

Saving Africa's Witch Children Part 3

Saving Africa's Witch Children Part 4

Saving Africa's Witch Children Part 5

Saving Africa's Witch Children Part 6