Atta Ikede

July 4, 2009

Towel made by Orphans

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 2:58 pm

A few months ago, .. No. Ok. Probably last summer, so more like almost a year ago, I went to a small movie screening about orphans in India. The director of the orphanage where much of the filming took place was present that night, as was the director.

At the end of the screening, the director of the orphanage made a request for donations to help support the orphanage. She also handed out some towels. When I unfolded the towel to look at it, I saw 40 stick figures in maroon arranged tidily in 5 rows. Each child’s stick figure self-portrait had been printed on the towel along with the child’s name. The director said the kids had “made” these towels for us, but thankfully the uniform print and fabric quality screamed factory production so I assumed she meant that the kids had submitted the drawings and the actual towels had been put together at a local print shop.

The towel made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I don’t carry much cash on me, so I donated what I had and left.

From that day until i packed up my old apartment last weekend, that towel was in turns: balled up in the hall closet, at the bottom of the pile of normal hand towels and at the bottom of my dirty laundry.

I never used it. It ended up in its third location mainly because I found it in locations 1 and 2, felt unsure as to whether this was suitable for using, and decided I should just wash it, cuz it might be dirty from so much storage.

I sliced open most of my boxes this morning while looking for a mug so I could make some coffee. I didn’t find a mug (I ended up making the coffee on a stove top and drinking it out of the French press glass carafe), but I did find a box of dirty laundry.

I thought to myself .. “that towel’s in there”


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