In spite of all the pissing and moaning we may do on our blogs, I for one never let a day go by without realizing how fortunate I am. Seeing the pictures coming out of the refugee camps in Kenya--- where literally millions are at risk for starvation -- makes me unsettled, scared and heartbroken. I can't help but think about the accident of birth that let me grow up in a land of plenty while others face doom from their first day of life. Why is it them and not me?
In the pharmacy where I fill in some shifts, there are a lot of customers who are African immigrants. We treat them with the same courtesies that everyone else gets. As I've mentioned before, in spite of the lack of English-speaking skills they tend to learn one phrase quickly, which is "How long?" Just yesterday a man approached the counter and protested that he had been waiting 'TWENTY MINUTES!!'
One of our cashiers is also of African origin. He's been in the USA for quite awhile and shakes his head at this sort of thing. He has family back in Africa and related to us what he saw happen when someone in the village gets seriously ill. If that person is really lucky, four people will be available to carry him to the next village to find some medical help. That's the BEST-case scenario.
So, all of a sudden that 20-minute wait doesn't seem so bad. And that's true no matter what country you came from.