Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To Chalmers

Note how the style and colours of this porcine picture jars and juxtaposes with the visuals of my otherwise serene blog.

Last night I went to a packed theatre to watch a music concert. I shouldn't blog about this, normally I wouldn't mention it, but I have never been very successful at disciplining my thought to mouth ratio and now it seems my thoughts are struggling for supremacy over my fingertips.

It wasn't Pink Floyd. It was a World Vision concert. The singer was on fine form (if you enjoy beach boy medleys and the Lonely Goat song from The Sound of Music in the same half hour - I can't remember what else she sang, I've blocked it!) suffused with a couple hundred tired yet overconfident kids, and half way through stopped - (for breath one assumes but not for good) to say why she was singing. Yes, there was a reason - other than the obvious! She wanted to charm us. No. She wanted to raise awareness of the plight of the children of Honduras.

She began by saying that, probably, none of us in the audience would have had any experience of living in a third world country (to which all the British health workers groaned and muttered something to the effects that they thought NZ was a third world country) and that she had been to Honduras to experience it first hand. A video clip followed.

She had taken a film crew. Shots worthy of news night were inter cut with shots of the lovely host - the contrast was staggering - and one could not help but be moved by the images we were being presented with: men, women and children struggling to carry clean water from miles away on a daily basis to tend to their large and hungry families. Their homes were as basic as a home can get and be called a home. Their children were as well behaved as hunger permits. Sometimes, our host said, the elder siblings go without for the younger ones to feed. Meals consist mainly of dry pitta bread, apparently. But all was not desperation.

The next shot was our lady in the home of a family who were busy with jars and fruit. The peoples of Honduras were capitalising on the usually discarded fruit of the cashew nut - I didn't know it grew on the end of a fruit either - they offered our host some to taste.

Mmmmmm, went our host - juices dribbling from her dewy moisturised chin - it would go wonderfully with fine cheeses and a glass of good port.

Seeing is not experiencing.

At the end they thanked the fourteen people who had donated. Wish you were here?


catdownunder said...

My 'day job' is related to this sort of thing...impossible to understand unless you are in the midst of it for an extended period of time. I have never been anywhere like that and would be too cowardly to go.

steven said...

it's a dance - refining your own condition and paying the debt of your own existence before you decide to take on another person's debt. many well-meaning people who haven't go their own situations in order take on the situations of others without a thought as to the benefits and consequences of their actions. particularly the long-term consequences. small acts of quality is the most direct manner in which to change the world.

Rachel Fenton said...

I, too, am too cowardly, Cat. I tell myself it is because I have children and I wouldn't want to leave them without their mother (I am so important you see) but the truth of the matter is, I wouldn't have felt the impact of those hungry kids before I had children of my own. Thank you for commenting.

Steven, it's a song and dance, evidently. There are a lot of "well-meaning" people in the world, for sure. Thank you for commenting.

Lori said...

It is almost a must that each celebrity supports at least one charity, just as corporations like to show us that they also do and although it can be sickening at times, I can't help but believe that they still help a little.

In the end, no matter the reason you do it for at first, giving and being aware and compassionate does transform you in the end, right? I like to believe so.

Rachel Fenton said...

Hi Lori, but why did she have to go there? Where did the money for that trip come from? Why not buy them the water pipes etc without the fanfare? Why didn't she just endorse the show and let the kids have the stage to themselves - after all, it was our kids we went to see, not her. And there's the rub, all of us went to see our kids sing - the whole Honduras plight was far from the fore of our thoughts! How bad is that? And...and..and!!!

Rachel Fenton said...

And all I'm doing is blogging about it to a handful of people! Thank you for your thoughts though, Lori. I'm not sure I'll ever get my head around what is happening in the world.

Thomas Taylor said...

The concert sounds painful. I think you summed up my feelings about this sort of thing two comments back, Rachel. Who is really being helped, the hungry or the celebrity?

Did she really make 'fine cheese and port comment'?

Love the pig, by the way.

Rachel Fenton said...

Yes Thomas, the cheese and port comment really took my breath away - I actually gasped, but then carried on sitting there and doing nothing.

Some celebrities need more help than others evidently :)

But, she did raise my awareness, I must concede, so, perhaps it was worth it. Perhaps...

Thank you - and glad you like the pig!

Amber said...

Rachel! Thank you so much for your nice comment on my blog. I know the move will be good it's just a little daunting at the moment. But I really appreciate your comment, its nice to have the back up.

Rachel Fenton said...

No probs, Amber. We all need a little back up from time to time - happy to chuck a few words of support your way - best of luck with it all! :)