I don't believe in happy endings.
But we are a culture in love with happy endings. And this story begs for one.
This is the story of Argentine and Mapendo, two young women from rural villages in Eastern Congo. They started with nothing. Survived war and poverty. Worked hard. And now they are about to board an airplane and arrive in Canada.
You see how it is a Cinderella story, right?
So let me say up front...I never wanted Argentine and Mapendo to leave Congo and move to Canada. And I don't believe it is a happy ending.
I believe it is a tragedy, that these young women couldn't build safe lives in the country they are from. What does it feel like to have to travel halfway across the world, and leave everything you know, just to find a safe place to call home?
May we never stop asking that question, and fighting for a world where 50 million people don't have to live in that reality.
This last week, Argentine and Mapendo's family's scrounged any money they could find to buy bus tickets and visit Argentine and Mapendo one last time. They gave Argentine and Mapendo their blessings, on this next step in their journey.
And that it is what it is. A next step, not an ending. With more joys and more sorrows to come.
In 2 days I will board a plane and go to Canada. I will meet Argentine and Mapendo in the airport and I will celebrate with them. This is a moment worth celebrating.
But I will also remember that just a few days ago Argentine's mother hugged her goodbye.
Then we will stand there in the airport in Canada and look at each other, imagining what is to come. We will bundle up 9 refugees in more clothing than they could ever imagine. And we will open the door and walk out into the frigid Canadian air, and see how their crutches work on ice.
Join the Journey. www.shonacongo.com