10,000 Days of Prison

It has been 10,000 days.
10,000 days of staring at this white wall and these prison bars.
10,000 days of sitting in this small cell
10,000 days of hate, and punishment and rotten food
10,000 days where every little book that is given, every story that is heard is a gift
10,000 days of silence
10,000 insults
10,000 silent pleas
10,000 morning prayers for faith, and strength and perseverance
10,000 candles lit for those hearts, in darkness
10, 000 ways in which 100,000 people arose in their name to serve in ways they could not
10,000 days without internet, or phones, or email or all the countless things that people think of as “necessity”
10,000 days in which the crime is still not investigated, or a fair trail given or any justice system followed
10,000 pleas which transcend political divisions
10,000 ways in which it is no longer Muslim, or Christian or Bahai but now an undeniable human violation
10,000 tears
10,000 ways that they do not know how much we pray for them
10,000 ways in which students are not allowed to go to university
10, 000 changes in the world…economic world collapses, global protests, the advent of new technological discoveries, new babies born , new life bloomed and death presided

It is dark now, I do not know you and I doubt I ever will. At times, I choose selfishly to not think of those 10,000 days because it hurts my heart too much.

I am sorry sweet angels that I did not organize a vigil in your name, but I felt the best tribute i could do was service. I chose to serve others on your day that marked 10,000 days you were in prison. I chose to be in a place where there were plans to have 1,000 junior youth in a small cluster of land to help serve others in the next three years. I know that other small patches of land are also pledging growth, and with that more than 10,000 youth will hopefully make a better place so that your sacrifice is not in vain.

10,000 days ago on April 1 seven ordinary citizens of Iran were detained without any justification. They were detained, as usual for their beliefs. They were forced into prison and spent a good amount of time without any sort of justice. This is just a new chapter in a long torrid history of unjustifiable abuse towards the Bahais in Iran. Fanaticism and abject prejudice – as well as a desire for them to become political pawns have caused this.

In Iran, to be a Bahai is a crime. They are forced in prison if they do not recant their faith, and are not allowed basic human rights like going to university. They are falsely accused by many injustices and every day they are faced with countless suffering. Yet, surprisingly, they continue to try to make the world a better place. They continue to give children classes, to try to have a community and to love God.

So tonight, 10,001 days later I write a little passage for them. In a far corner of the world, in a language they do not speak I want them to know that 80 junior youth of El Salvador, knew about you and were inspired by you. I wanted you to know, that somehow, you are remembered.
And those youth will go back to their communities, and hopefully think of you.

Seven people, 10,000 days, who touched millions in their path.


The normalcy of being different

Pies gastados

Corazon de gitana

Maleta llena de hoyos

The weirdest thing about having a third culture kid itch is that you are never truly home anywhere. BUt aside from that, unconcsciously you tend to seek out things that are different.  When I first came to El Salvador during the war having blonde hair and white skin I always stood out.  People always stared. When I was out in the country side giving Bahai children class someone asked me if I got red in the sun.
This has since changed , as tourism is now more common in the country. Yet when I arrived to college in the United States , I found it strange not to be ” different” anymore .  Yet the problem was that  inside I really was different. When I talked to people in freshman orientation about El Salvador people looked at me with repulsion like i was too strange for them.

So i sought out friends who would understand me, where I was different, where people sought me out as such. It felt strange but home at the same time. My friends never asked stupid questions about where I lived, they didnt lecture me on how dangerous a country seemed, they just accepted me for who I was. And that is hard to find, and that is what I call home for me.