A lyrical reflection from U of M student Megan Knuteson about her two weeks at Daylight:
The main thing I took from my trip was the “these are people” realization. There’s the taught perception of something foreign, something other, about Africans especially. You know, the “there are starving children in Africa” line.
When I spent two weeks at Daylight, they became people.
They may have a cooking shack because they don’t have a kitchen, but they still ruminate on arguments relatives are having, or how the car broke down last week, or how we’re almost out of matches.
And teens still sit and talk about school and girlfriends and boyfriends, and elementary schoolers still kick a soccer ball around without actually organizing a game of soccer, and toddlers still push each other over just to see how much it takes to make their sibling cry.
And I found out
that despite the language
and despite the skin color
and despite the lack of internet access
and despite the street and sidewalks that are just orange-brown dirt with a metric ton of litter
and despite the open-air markets
and despite the ten million little shops that each sell only like eight different items
And their blood is still red,
and they still get pissed when their sisters have abusive boyfriends,
and they still have trouble paying for school,
and there are still people who love to or hate to or can’t read,
and there are still restaurants that are just too expensive,
and there are still kids who
they’re not going to get.
Just like in America.
And there’s still the feeling of Are you kidding me, it’s morning and I’m dead tired, I shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night.