Ingrid Betancourt and playing hooky

Today was one of those rare days when I took some time off to indulge, indulge in knowledge and I am here to say I am so glad I did. We whinge and whine here about Politics and the carryings on of our political leaders and probably always will, but today I took a step back and listened to an amazing woman talk with quiet passion and without bitterness of the trials and torment that has engulfed her life. Ingrid Betancourt has had her share of the press, you will all no doubt remember the Presidential candidate in Columbia who was abducted by FA RC back in 2002 and her eventual rescue some 6 ½ yrs later. Her chat today with Senator elect Lee Rhiannon was both enlightening and sobering. There wasn’t even a hint of bitterness as she told us how she found out of her father’s death, although extremely moving and at times she had to take a deep breath her story is told without hate, without nastiness, but with absolute hope for her Columbian homeland. It is wonderful to listen to passion in someone who cannot really ever go home, who believes so much in her fellow Columbian and hopes so much that change will one day come to them. We talk about corruption, and wheeling and dealing but man when you hear of what happens in other countries no wonder people want to come here. The sadness of today came not in hearing the story of this wonderful woman, but in listening to her feelings of hopelessness when it came to her detention, in so many ways listening made it all the clearer to me what we as a country are doing to the refugees seeking solace in Australia, We lock them up, with no time limit, no idea of when even if they will be released if at all, in a foreign country listening to foreign languages, not quite understanding the things happening all around them. I’ve always been against incarceration of refugees; today I felt shame, more than usual in that such a rich country we seem to aspire to the depths of reasonable conduct to our fellow humans.

Is this Columbia, no, is our behaviour to those less fortunate better, sometimes, could we do better, absolutely YES. Ingrid’s Book…even silence has an end is available now, hopefully in our Library soon, having not read it I was concerned it focused on the torture etc, but I’ve been told it doesn’t, it’s a heartfelt insight into her time in captivity. If you read it, let me know your thoughts.

(Thanks to our Fellow Greens friends  for taking the pics etc and making the morning available to us)

 Have a fabulous weekend, remember Monday is Council meeting night, the minutes are available on line now or from council… I’ll be spending this week reading them and the last of the Council organisational and budget plan for the coming 4 years… don’t forget to make comment submissions are due next week.


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