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El viaje continua
Ending the beating drums of Africa
Well, a flurry of events with demands for more money, made not by Abou and Saidi, his friend, but by those living in Europe who wanted money for the 2 young men to complete an internship for their hotel studies. Not to mention illness and planned surgery for Saidi's mother. I do remain convinced of the honesty of Abou and Saidi -- Saidi's father was Abou's patron and died undergoing heart surgery about 3 years ago, and I picked up Saidi's educational support since then. But the financial demands became greater and greater, and then the European owner of the hotel that the young men were to work in began making demands for me to make more and more contributions of money while she herself withdrew more and more of it that she had previously promised. It became a blackmail of sorts -- you do this or your young men will never get anywhere. Probably lucky for me, there is a point where there is no more money that can be given. That is not lucky for Abou or Saidi, but they will have to find their own ways to sink or swim in an area of the world which is truly among the Top 10 of the Most (pardon my French) Fucked Up.

What will happen now? Who knows. Probably uproar from Abou and Saidi for abandoning them, which is how they see it. But it is telling that when I told the African husband of the European hotel owner that the "bank" was closed, he immediately wished me well. Oh yes. Oh yes, indeed.
27 comments or Leave a comment
pasticcio From: pasticcio Date: February 1st, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure that was a difficult decision for you .. you did more than most would have done.
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Probably not totally over with yet as far as my relationship goes with Abou, but not to the intense financial extent that it was.
maryxmas From: maryxmas Date: February 1st, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
how many years have you been supporting them?
it's high time Abou has grown some conscience along with good appetite.
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Marija, you are so great!
maryxmas From: maryxmas Date: February 1st, 2013 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I admire your selflessness but I can't but feel angry with him -- he should not be relying on you so heavily to build his life -- it's his life and his responsibility, not yours.
vaporw From: vaporw Date: February 1st, 2013 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I truly hope you don't get an abandonment email. That is not fair. But, hey, who said life was fair was a liar.
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Already got the abandonment, "how can you do this to me," letter. Expected it. I actually am not writing him off. He will get a sum for living expenses monthly from me but no more gigantic funds for a trip, the cost of which was morphing rapidly into the Tomato the Ate Africa. He will need time to adjust to this, and I expect that. But then it will be up to him on what he will choose to do.
vaporw From: vaporw Date: February 1st, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
So sad that they are being so ungrateful. They probably don't realize that all American's are not wealthy. We may be compared to their standard of living, but our cost of living is higher also. We do hope you don't take it to heart. We're sure it still hurt to read.
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Desperate people do not see manners high on their list and gratitude can be sadly lacking. I always tried to work with Abou on opening up more to the world, but there's a lot of him that has lost a lot and is emotionally scarred. I'm not hurt but this, only frustrated by things that came in from the outside. But yeah, it feels good not to be locked into the never-ending cycle of money, money, money that came from my own bank account.
pondhopper From: pondhopper Date: February 1st, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
You did what you could for so long. People WILL take advantage of a free ride for as long as they can, you know. You were being drawn into some dark doings there...blackmail is NOT anything you need to deal with.
Please rest easy, Rebekah. You did a LOT.
Now it's time for you to take care of yourself.

Edited at 2013-02-01 04:14 pm (UTC)
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 04:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks Donna for your sweet letter. Yes, it has been an interesting pathway I've been on in my life. You can't say that either one of us has had a boring time here on earth.
lanternlady From: lanternlady Date: February 1st, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know that I respect and admire you greatly. So it is from a place of tremendous respect that I say this. I recently saw a program on TV about similar situations which turned out to be scams. I pray, dear lady, that this is not the case.

Be proud of the contributions you've made and move on. IF it's a scam, you will be harrased. Time to change email addresses and any other means of communicating with you. Let the little birdie fly from the nest... mother birds often start with a little shove!

calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I remember watching the young crows running after mama with their beaks open for food, when they were bigger than mom herself. Mom would ignore them and every now and then lose her temper and give them a good pecking.
lanternlady From: lanternlady Date: February 1st, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
smiles softly. I'm glad you got me :)
myrhiann From: myrhiann Date: February 1st, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
It had to come. you have been supporting the 2 of them for a long time, and you really need to be thinking about your own needs now. You are a good woman to have done this for such along time. I admire you.
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, when we are mothers to the world, we end up being mother birds kicking their children out of the nest. And a lot of our "fledglings" are not at all happy about that.

But you're right. It was coming.
curiouswombat From: curiouswombat Date: February 1st, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have done a lot for them - they were fortunate that you have fostered them, financially, for so long.

They are big boys now - were they your birth children you would expect them to be standing on their own feet by this time, with a small amount now and then if they needed it and you could afford it.

So you are now treating them exactly as you would your other son. Any serious whinging and it might help you, and them, to point this out regularly!
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the world is going to teach them things that I never could.
auntconi From: auntconi Date: February 1st, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
"The bank is closed" ~ good for you!

I do believe that you and hubby have your own health needs to be concerned about.
Things have changed in your life since you started helping them...
You have helped them for quite some time... and I admire how much you have done.

I wish you well... ((hugs))
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Many thanks, my dear. I guess a lot of times you go up against the world and the world is a whole lot bigger than you are. It may take a while for it to remind you just how big it is.
dark_phoenix54 From: dark_phoenix54 Date: February 1st, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have done the right thing. You cannot support them to the extent that you end up hurting yourself- no one wins then, except the owner of the hotel, who, I suspect, is not honest and is using Abou and Saidi. I hope they can find employment away from her but I know it's a sad, sad part of the world. {{{hugs}}}
calizen From: calizen Date: February 1st, 2013 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, we're here to experience things aren't we. And my life has been far from dull. So I guess I should be grateful for that.
mayamithraca From: mayamithraca Date: February 2nd, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
The young ones must beat their wings and fly...for they have been fed and fed by you. You are not the bank...you are a beautiful heart. They should be full of gratitude...
calizen From: calizen Date: February 3rd, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes you have to learn to be grateful. Abou had 2 days of yelling and then decided his real path could be with the spiritual healer. Which is what I felt all along.
islandmomma From: islandmomma Date: February 2nd, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am very relieved to hear this. You know I am not uncaring about what happens in Africa, but I fear that the fact that you got that "abandonment" email is sufficient to tip the balance for me. It's true that many, many Africans do not understand that although we appear to be rich in the west, our lives are such that we have commitments and responsibilities impossible to explain to them. I found that even with the guys who now live here. They retain a certain isolation from western, everyday life, at least some do. The ones who don't are the ones who adapt and succeed, the rest are lost without others to provide for them .....sorry, didn't mean to go on. I'm just glad.
calizen From: calizen Date: February 3rd, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
No, it's okay. If you would like to write more with me, why don't you send me your email address and we can go on privately about what we've learned with Africa. As it is, the African husband has been writing to me wailing that I think of him as a liar and a thief and asking forgiveness. Have not heard from Saidi. Abou took the news with 2 days of pouting and then decided, okay, he'll go back to study with the mganga, the witch doctor. Actually, I had very strong feelings that he would end up there anyway. So maybe fate has come in and forced us into a new pathway. To be continued for sure.
tanith_astlik From: tanith_astlik Date: March 17th, 2013 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now that I've been able to read your post and all the comments, I can see that Abou's sense of abandonment could have been triggered by the closed bank of calizen, but only to the extent that he relived the pain of his other real life losses. (Both of his parents died, didn't they? I remember something about his mother, but she may already have been a widow at the time.) I'm sure that now he can understand that you haven't abandoned him at all.

He's very lucky to have you. It's not simply the money, although that is a big deal, I think you've given him a sense of stability and a margin of safety that he would not have otherwise felt. Sometimes the emotional support is more important than anything else. And I think you've given him plenty of that over the years.

I don't know about Saidi, but that women who owned the hotel was a piece of work, wasn't she? I know the money you sent is probably long gone, but do you think Abou learned from the experience of dealing with the Grifter Lady? Or is he still [hopelessly] naive?

I'm interested in his studying with the mganga. Does Abou tell you anything?

How are you feeling now? I haven't been able to keep up with LJ while in Placerville so even though I could upload my own once in a while, I couldn't read anyone's posts.
27 comments or Leave a comment