Posts filed under ‘congo-post’

tears no longer fall

i can’t stop thinking about the 12 year old girl we met at panzi hospital in bukavu. she was recovering from a fistula surgery and will have to use a catheter for an indefinite amount of time. i want to be sensitive and not just talk and write about the rapes. i want to talk about the strength of the congolese women. i want to share about their incredible hospitality. about their will to survive. but today, i cannot stop thinking about what happened to this 12 year old girl.

dr. meweke, the medical director of panzi hospital, (one of only two hospitals in all of congo that perform the fistula surgery) shared with us that many of the women who have been so brutalized by rape just “choose to die.” they do not commit suicide, they do not die of internal physical injuries. they just choose to die by disappearing into themselves. they stop talking. they stop eating. hope and strength disappates from their eyes. emptiness remains. tears no longer fall because tears require emotion.

i sat with this 12 year old girl for only a few minutes. stroking her hand and praying that for a brief moment, she would know that she is brave. her survival is more bravery than most will experience.

last year alone, panzi hospital performed 3600 fistula surgeries and this number is already increased for 2006. since 1999, over 12,000 women have been treated for fistula surgery at panzi. there are close to 200 women waiting in a open air warehouse/waiting area each day for surgery.

today, i can’t stop thinking about that 12 year old girl and i can’t make the tears well up in my eyes. i want to cry today, but tears won’t seem to fall.

November 8, 2006 at 11:46 pm 1 comment


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