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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Committing good deeds


Your first period leads you to believe you are dying. You have no information, nobody - not even your mother - has ever talked to you about this. All you know is that girls get locked up with goats for 'being dirty' and that your neighbour has died of this two weeks ago. Quite the formative experience, isn't it?

leaving the safehouse

transporting the packages

We leave early in the morning, before the sun has a chance to turn the two white guys in attendance into walking balls of sweat. But like every day here, we'll get there soon enough. You ever shower, turn the water off and realize it's impossible to dry yourself, as you're already again sweating like an orange in a squeezer? Merino is a lifesaver, because at least I don't smell like a hoard of monkeys.

waiting for the drop

We roll up to a local school with a truckful of sanitary packages. Twice welcome distraction as today's curriculum were exams. Guys get unique opportunity to score one on girls in grades, as those are attending one of the more out there classes. Topic being: menstruation. Complete with an image drawn on board and a demonstration of how to stay clean and why it matters. Of the following list of items in the package, which one item do you think all the girls were familiar with?

  • menstruation pads

  • panties

  • soap

  • nail clippers

life lessons class

packages / Sahin

I'm filming and taking pictures and it occurs to me that I do exactly what I've been seeing in Nat Geo or BBC documents: following the fearless locals on their quest to improve lives of their neighbours. (Except no company pays me a penny, obviously.) But as limited impact as my efforts may have (shout-out to you, dear reader), it feels good nonetheless. I've never been the story, only the storyteller. Bridge between cultures and lives. As it should be.

the other white dude, Bud

Each little girl needs to sign a paper. Formality; not that the government would care to contribute, but it cares to control. Equally, I'm asked to write a report that'll be handed in along with the signatures, to prove that Sahin is not hurting locals with her progressive ideas. I can't decide if it's the urge to control, or the fear of spread of westernization. But I have a hunch...



By then it's midday and it's hot and since it's the monsoon season, all the kids go back home to help with planting rice. We'll continue the mission tomorrow; the rest of the day I'm on a sweat induced detox, supported by the local spicy delicacies. That's honestly a missed marketing opportunity: eat your way to a slim figure and clean intestines. Would you be up for such a procedure? It comes with killer sunset views, too!

back in the house

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