Incredibly quiet. Shaun is away interstate attending a couple of conferences and so it's just E and me - and right now he is asleep. Today I have been kind of myself and I decided that, no, while E sleeps I will not run round trying to squeeze all the housework into half an hour - I will do the essentials and then I will sit down and read the newspaper. Which I did.
It's an amazing thing, on the day of an election, to receive a whopping reality check. Mine came in the form of an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald titled 'The World Continues To Look Away - DON'T'. The standfirst then reads: 'Some stories, as horrific as they are, need to be read by everyone. This is one of them.'
And horrific it was.
While we debate the merits of Rudd versus Howard, we ought to be so damn thankful that we live in a country where we actually have a functioning government, a health system, schools, jobs, etc.
So. Damn. Thankful ... for the accident of our birth.
The article I read detailed the horrific - yes, horrific describes it best - plight of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I will see if I can find this piece on the SMH website and link to it here so anyone who's interested can read it.
I sobbed, truly sobbed, when I read of women regularly - regularly and systematically - being raped by gangs of rampaging soldiers. But that's not the half of it. It gets far worse ... and where is the UN? Where are the news reports proclaiming the crisis? What if this were your sister? How can we allow this?
I will keep this article, because I want Shaun to read it when he is back from Queensland. And in the meantime I have done the one and only tiny thing I can do. I logged on to the Medecin Sans Frontieres website and donated $50. Even this feels like an appalling inadequate reaction. And yet what else is there? I cannot sit here and do nothing. MSF is the only Aussie aid organisation that has anything to do with the Congo and when I went to the website I found, frustratingly, that I couldn't direct my donation to that particular cause. Never mind, I trust that they will.
Here is the article. Please read it.