Chapter 67

12

November 28, 2017, Prescott-

Two events occupied my time, this evening,

even as a creeping fatigue occupied my body.

The first was a  tableau of non-profit organizations,

one of which I am deeply connected:  Prescott Farmers Market.

The two young ladies who oversee it are like daughters to me,

never mind that their own fathers are fine men.

I made contact with several other NPO’s.

One was represented by a man with a handshake like a vise-grip.

He’s occupied with reaching out to fatherless boys,

so that grip is a good thing.

Another was represented by a man whose mind was elsewhere.

I spent a few minutes with him, anyway.

An hour later and eight miles away,

I joined an interfaith devotional.

The hostess served up a German chocolate cake,

complemented by another friend’s homemade Green Tea ice cream.

The hostess led a singalong,

which, to me, is best spent listening to her megaton voice.

“Happy Birthday”, though, was a genuine group effort.

I was starting to fade,

when it came my duty to cut the cake,

and was gently reminded of this.

Fade-out didn’t hit, full force,

until my head hit the pillow,

forty minutes after I bid my friends

thank you and good night.

Chapter 67 began

with a reminder of how much

I’m loved here,

and how fallible we each remain.

Nauru

4

August 24, 2016, Prescott-  I listened to a report, on NPR this morning, about the incarceration of minor children who are undocumented immigrants, caught in Australia.  They are transported to Nauru, a mini-state that was administered by the Australian government, before gaining independence in 1968.  It functioned as a country for some forty years, until the phosphates which abounded on its small land frame, ran out.  Now, Nauru operates as a tax haven and as a prison island.

The detention centre used by Australia lies in a desolate, worn-out mining district.  The treatment meted out to the children, according to a former monitor, who defied Australian law, by speaking out, is violent and as abysmal as the surroundings.  NPR will give Save The Children- Australia, allegedly a partner in the abuse, a chance to present its side of the story, tomorrow.  The Australian government is also being afforded an opportunity to respond to the charges.

Generally, when “child-centered” non-profit organizations turn away from their stated mission, it has become a matter of bringing in enough revenue to meet operating costs, and to avoid angering the powers that be, who are often acquiescent to a “measure” of abuse.  I have seen this in several places, from the Navajo and Lakota Sioux nations, to Phoenix and eastern Massachusetts.

Being complicit, or complacent, in or towards abuse and neglect is a crime against humanity.  To shrug one’s shoulders, and say “Well, money pays the bills.”, will not set well in the eventual court of law that gets to deal with the case.  I will not be surprised to see several Save The Children officials, and people in both the Australian and Nauruan governments, facing a higher court, very soon.