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The Bite of the Mango Seminar

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Christina Sanita

on 16 May 2013

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Transcript of The Bite of the Mango Seminar

Mariatu's Amputation:
Blessing or Catastrophe? Encounters People
Who Help Her Thesis: Mariatu's Amputation
is a blessing because it
opens doors for her. Argument #1 Gains Media Exposure Argument #2 Has The Opportunity To Support Her Family Argument #3 By: Christina Sanita Fatmata Mariatu meets Fatmata in a truck, on her way to the hospital in Freetown. Mariatu is going to the hospital so she can get her wounds looked at and taken care of. Fatmata takes on the role of Mariatu's mother and looks after her while she recovers at the hospital in the girls' ward. Fatmata is also a good influence on Mariatu because she always leads her to make the right choices. For example, when Mariatu was given the opportunity to be interviewed by the foreign journalists, she was hesitant about agreeing to be interviewed. Fatmata encourages Mariatu to take the opportunity by telling her, “Someone may hear about you, Mariatu, and give you money,” (McClelland 103). After Mariatu is discharged from the hospital, Fatmata helps make arrangements for Mariatu to move to the Aberdeen War Amputation Camp. “It wasn’t safe to return to Port Loko either, so Fatmata helped Abibatu make the arrangements for our move to Aberdeen.” (McClelland 81). Fatmata also agrees to help them while at Aberdeen, “She agreed to live with us for a while and help me when the baby arrived.” (McClelland 81). Without needing to go to the hospital to get her arms amputated, she wouldn’t have met Fatmata. Yabom Mariatu meets a woman named Yabom who comes to find her at the amputee camp. “This man lives in England, and he has raised money to pay for your flight to London so you can have some medical treatment.“ (McClelland 134). Yabom is a social worker, like Comfort. She had been in contact with a man named David from England, prior to meeting Mariatu. David wants to bring her to England and pay for her
medical treatment. This medical treatment provided to Mariatu, is to get fitted with prosthetic hands. “He wants the hospital to fit you with prosthetic hands, which he will pay for.” (McClelland 134). Since Mariatu didn’t have a birth certificate or a passport, without Yabom’s help in organizing and filling out the paperwork, Mariatu couldn’t go to England. Yabom agrees to help her get all the paperwork done so she can get these documents, “I’ll help Mariatu apply for her papers.” (McClelland 133). Mariatu says, “… her soft manners reminded me of Fatama, who did so much for me but never asked once for anything in return.” (McClelland 139). Yabom also helps to comfort and reassure Mariatu through her struggles after Abdul ‘s death,
“ “You know, Abdul didn’t die because of you,” she said gently. “Lots of babies die in Sierra Leone from diseases and malnutrition. You were just a baby, and babies aren’t supposed to be having babies. Besides, it sounds like Abdul had lots of love from Marie, Abibatu, Fatmata, and Mabinty. Just like you when you came to live with Marie and Alie. Did you ever think for a moment it was because your mother didn’t love you?” (McClelland 147). While in England, Yabom also helps Mariatu to learn the alphabet, and teaches her how to read. This helps her for her future, while still living in London and when she later on goes to Canada. Without Yabom's help, Mariatu wouldn't have had the opportunity to go to England. Comfort Mariatu meets Comfort, after a long day of begging. She tells Mariatu to meet her at her
office in the morning as she has an important message for her. “If you come to my office tomorrow morning, I will give you the message, and we can talk more about things then.” (McClelland 124). After Comfort introduces herself in more detail to Mariatu, she explains why she brings Mariatu to her office, “A man phoned from Canada.” (McClelland 125). She helps Mariatu to connect with Bill from Canada and gives Bill the opportunity to support Mariatu with money, clothing, etc. “Bill says he’s putting a box of clothes in the mail for you, and some money. It should be here in a month. I’ll come and get you when the package arrives.” (McClelland 128). After Mariatu returns to Sierra Leone from London, Comfort tells Mariatu’s family that she will be organizing her trip to Canada. “Comfort arrived at our tent one afternoon, plopped herself down on a stone, and announced that she, not Yabom would be organizing my trip to Canada.” (McClelland 164). Comfort works hard at filling out the
paperwork so that Mariatu could go to Canada. Once they arrive, Comfort explains a lot of things about Canada to Mariatu and helps her adjust and get settled in, in Canada. Without Comfort's help, Mariatu wouldn't have been connected to Bill or had the opportunity to go to Canada. Bill Bill is someone who lives in Canada who first decides to support Mariatu, after reading about her in the media. Bill found out about Mariatu in a
newspaper article.
“ “A man phoned from Canada,” she said, sitting down across from me. “His name is Bill, and he wants to find the girl he read about in a newspaper article." " (McClelland 125). Comfort, who is connecting her to Bill showed her a picture and asked if she was the person in the picture.
Then said, “If you are the person in this photograph, this man Bill wants to help you. His family read your story, and they would like to give you money for food and clothes.” (McClelland 125). Bill sent her $50 a month which was worth 150,000 Leones,
“Bill was sending me about $50 a month, which was enough, combined with my remaining money from London, that I didn’t need to beg anymore.” (McClelland 164). Bill also later on brings her to Canada and takes Mariatu into his house and connects her with Sierra Leonean friends of his. This was another door that was opened for Mariatu. Bill later on brings her to Canada and takes Mariatu into his house and connects her with Sierra Leonean friends of his. This was another door that was opened for Mariatu. If Mariatu was not connected to Bill, she wouldn't have been able to come to Canada. David Bill also protects her from Comfort who wanted to take her back to Sierra Leone because he wanted her to stay in Canada and go to school. “Bill had called her very early that morning, saying Comfort seemed determined to take me back to Sierra Leone for some reason, and that was why Bill had woken me when it was still dark outside and brought me to Kadi’s house. “Bill wants you to stay in Canada and go to school,” Kadi said.” (McClelland 174). David is a man who lives in England who also wants to support Mariatu, after reading her interview in the paper. David, after hearing about Mariatu, wants to pay for her medical treatment. “This man lives in England, and he has raised money to pay for your flight to London so you can have some medical treatment. “ (McClelland 134). This medical treatment provided to Mariatu, is to get fitted with prosthetic hands. “He wants the hospital to fit you with prosthetic hands, which he will pay for.” (McClelland 134). He also supports her decision not to wear or have prosthetic hands. “I guess we made a mistake thinking the prosthetic hands would benefit you.” (McClelland 157). Even though Mariatu chose to leave England, through David, she still had the opportunity to get out of Sierra Leone and to experience London. A camp official asks Mariatu if she would be interested in being interviewed and photographed by foreign journalists. “When Abdul was several months old, a camp official came to our tent one night looking for me. He explained to me in Krio… that some journalists were coming to the camp the next day. They wanted to interview and take pictures of amputees from the war. Would I come the next morning, with Abdul, to the main part of the camp to meet them?” (McClelland 102). This benefited Mariatu because she was told that people who read the article and wanted to help her could possibly support her.
“Maybe someone will read about her and send her money, try to help her,” (McClelland 103). Mariatu was also told that several youth in the camp had people from foreign countries sending them money and supplies.
“Apparently several youth in the camp had people from foreign countries sending them money and supplies.” (McClelland 103). “Some of the children are even going to live in the West, in wealthy countries where there are no wars, all because journalists are telling the world about our problems.” (McClelland 103). This gave Mariatu hope that by doing the interview and taking the photograph, she could be supported, helped by someone and could even make a life for herself. By Mariatu gaining media exposure while staying at Aberdeen, she took the first step to getting to where she is today. At first, when given the opportunity to go to England, Mariatu didn’t want to go. Mariatu was not too thrilled about moving to England because she already had her mind set on moving or coming Canada. “We had been talking a lot in the evenings about the prospect of my moving to Canada, and about how moving away would be the best thing for me and for the family financially.” (McClelland 132) Mariatu already knew that she must take this opportunity, in order to support her family in Sierra Leone, who have always supported her. “The youth who had gone to other countries sent their families as much as 300,000 leones, or $100 dollars, a month and mailed them items we’d never heard of, like chocolates.” (McClelland 132) Secondary Source #1 Terry Fox We can relate Mariatu to Terry Fox because his amputation was also a blessing to him and other people. Terry Fox decided to run a marathon across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Terry Fox had cancer in his right leg and was forced to get an amputation to stop the spread of cancer. Secondary Source #2 "I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value."

Hermann Hesse quotes
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