Tonight we heard a powerful story. A story told by a woman who went through a life time of trauma. And a trauma that is very very common for women inEthiopia.
When Mobuba was 8 years old her parents died, this was during the great famine ofEthiopia. She had one sister, but they went their separate ways. Mobuba was hired by a family as a housekeeper and was paid 15 birr a month (right now 15 birr is worth 85 cents). After a time, the family sold Mobuba to a man for 80 birr (right now this is $4.65). This many had a wife and children so he put in a separate place, tied her up and raped her. Often. By the time she was about 12 she became pregnant.
Somehow she was able to escape when someone untied her. Despite her escape, Mobuba was hopeless, she was an orphan, pregnant and completely alone. She was advised by community members to return to her capture. Mobuba did not want to do this, so she decided her only option was suiside. Mobuba climbed on a bridge and was ready to throw herself in the river when she heard someone call her name. This person was her aunt’s husband. He convinced her to stay the night with him and his wife. After spending the night with this family, she decided she would have the baby.
Mobuba was in labor for 6 days. There was no money to even to hire a car to take her to the clinic. Finally they called a traditional midwife who had to crush the already dead baby to small pieces in order to extract the child from the womb.
Due to this intense and long labor, Mobuba had a fistula (meaning she had a hole in her bladder and rectum which caused her to constantly leak urine and feces.) She was also paralyzed in her legs and could not walk.
Mobuba, a young teenager who is living in famine, an orphan, been sold, raped and held hostage. Been in labor for 6 days, had a baby who died and had to be extracted from her body, now lay helpless in a small hut with only banana leaves for a bed. She laid there and waited for the hyenas to eat her.
Part 2 will be soon…