The Help

Everyone of my closest friends told me that I HAD TO see The Help.  After going to see it tonight… I know why! Could their be anything more worth while than telling of cross-cultural stories of suffering, healing, pain and hope?!  I was deeply touched by the moive for 100 different reasons — most of which have to do with the many stories I heard this summer of the women in Uganda.

Sarah, a friend of mine in Uganda told me about her childhood on a taxi ride to Jinja.  She showed me the place she used to live with her “step” mom (step mom in this case stands for her dad’s second wife).  ‘s mom lived in a town nearby to go to school and work for Sarah and her sister’s school fees.  Sarah used to walk to the garden to dig in the morning before school, she would arrive late to school and was usually punished for being late.  She would leave school early to go back to the garden to work and when the sun went down she would go home.  Usually Sarah’s only meal was posha and beans at school.  Sarah, the eldest of four girls, took care of her younger sisters too.  She said that she had ulcers as a child and could barely take care of herself– let alone the other girls.  To make matters worse her dad was an alcoholic and was never kind to Sarah or her sisters (she did not expound on what it meant that he was “never kind” — but to this day, Sarah is the only one who will speak to him — her sisters will never go near his home.)  When her mother realized the situation her daughters found themselves, she quit college to come back and care for her children.  Sarah’s mother soon got a job as a primary teacher (elementary in the States).  I know this did not pay for all the bills.  I am not sure how they made ends meet or if the ends were just empty stomachs.

I thought about The Help and how I don’t understand how people could rationalize having separate toilets!  I don’t understand how they could let their neighbor live in a situation where she was constantly beaten.  I don’t understand.

However, I can’t help but hope that 50 years from now my daughter is asking the same thing of me — how did you rationalize letting those women in Uganda live in such poverty and pain?  Because that would mean that women like Sarah and her mother have found a way out of poverty and women like Nancy had the courage to be the hands and feet of Jesus.