Thursday, March 11, 2010


On our drive up, A was talking about the “amazing power of love” (or however the hell he phrased that) because we had just passed an FARDC base, and he'd seen a woman there, and he was thinking about what it must be like to be a wife of a soldier.

“Imagine leaving your home, your family, the city or your village, to go live with your husband in an army camp in the bush,” he said. “Love has amazing power.”

To which I said: “Do you really think that women here have a choice in who they marry?”

“Usually,” said A.

To which I said: “Do you really think they marry for love? Or do they marry to escape their lives and to seek out something better?”

“Nothing could be worse than to be a woman living in an army base in the bush. If they were fleeing a hard life, they wouldn’t flee to there,” said A.

To which I (who have probably been reading too much Kristof) said: “But don’t you think they are just coerced or forced or assaulted into it?”

A, ever calm and patient, allowed that some girls/women may be forced into marriage. Maybe even a lot. But some, maybe even a lot, actually chose their own husbands, and truly love them, and follow them to army bases because of that love. And that even if it is only a handful of women who leave their homes and live on army bases in the bush because of LOVE, then it is still worth commenting on, because it is still beautiful.

Yeah, okay.

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