Soon after my arrival in Fiji I was working with a team in a rural village when we heard a woman screaming. Presently, someone pointed and I saw her running through the trees, being chased by a man holding a large stick and shouting at her. I didn't understand Fijian, and turned to a woman behind me to find out what was happening. She began laughing as she explained that the man thought the woman was cheating on him, and was threatening to beat her with the stick. I was in shock - not so much that this was happening in public, but that those around me (even the women) approved and thought it was funny.
The situation was so foreign to me, and the culture surrounding it so bizarre, that - to my shame - I was shocked into inaction. I said it was wrong, but I never did anything else. Perhaps there was nothing I could have done, but the fact remains that I never tried, and I'm haunted by the questions of what happened to her and what I could have done. Afterwards, I vowed that if I were ever in that situation again, I wouldn't stand still. I'm glad that I have been able to stop violence like that a couple of times, and sorry that I have had to on those occasions.
P.S. I'm a guy - but I see myself as a person first, and a guy second. I want to see the world not just through the eyes of men, but of women too. I'm here so I can listen to, understand, identify with, and encourage my friends.
KT (aka Tim)