I am silent, are you listening?

Well, I did it. I did not speak for an entire 24 hours on Friday, and I learned one thing for sure: the Vow of Silence is not fun. But it's not supposed to be fun. It was so frustrating to have no voice, and not being able to speak your mind. But that's really what the Vow was all about. Every time I was annoyed because I had something to say, but I couldn't say it, I thought of those children in Uganda who are forced to kill their families, their friends and capture their peers, and how they have so say in the matter. And then suddenly I don't feel so bad. Now I was silent for 24 hours; just imagine 24 hours 365 days a year- I can't.

Today was S I L E N T C I T I E S where all 24 MOB cities across Canada were silent from 12-2. The Vancouver (Mob)ilizers stood in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery in plus 2 degree weather, and we were freezing. But then we saw pictures of Saskatoon standing silent at temperatures of negative 30- now that is dedication. We were all in our white t-shirts, with the causes we were supporting written on them- homelessness, poverty, right to education, clean water, child soldiers, abused children. My shirt said "I AM SILENT" on the front "for Evelyn, a 9 year old, LRA abducted child" on the back. I had just met Evelyn a few days ago, and she told us her story of being abducted by the LRA when she was only 9 years old, how she was beaten, traumatized by the deaths of friends and family, bombed at, and much more. After Evelyn escaped she had half her jaw blown off by a bomb, and as she struggled to find her way back to her family, no one would give her a place to stay, food or clean clothes because of the way her face looked. Evelyn was extremely fortunate that some American family has heard of her story and payed for her to come to America to get surgery on her jaw. Then, when the teenager went back home, some neighbours became jealous of Evelyn's trip to North America and decided to poison her pregnant mother. The two were killed from the poison, and as if Evelyn didn't already feel terrible, her father decides she's brought nothing but trouble since she's been home, so he abandons her. All this before the age of 18. What a story; a horror story. And that was who I was silent for today.

Although we were only there for 2 hours, we picked a high traffic area, and there were many people curious as they walked by, grabbing flyers and taking pictures. Many also just walked by as if they didn't notice, but if we as a MOB could make a statement and touch even a few people, then we have succeeded and made a difference. There was a great turnout, and although we were not speaking, I think the event unified us Mobilizers. I will be seeing them all again tomorrow at our workshop.


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