Flashback Friday: Nigeria’s Missing Girls and New Year Resolutions


Seven hours ago, The New York Times reported that soon after the Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 teenage girls in Nigeria in April, the United States sent surveillance drones (eye-roll) and about 30 intelligence and security experts to help the Nigerian military try to rescue them. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, the top general for American missions in Africa, rushed from his headquarters to help the commanders in the crisis.

Seven months later, efforts have dwindled, many of the advisers have gone home and not one of the kidnapped girls has been found. Many are believed to have been married off to Boko Haram fighters, who in the past six months have seized hundreds more civilians, including children, planted bombs in Nigerian cities and captured entire towns.

It is unsure what we should do with this information other than be disheartened. And while I sat on a bus for 6 hours weaving out of Mexico City into Guerrero to camp on the Acapulco coast, my heart sank thinking about the 43 missing Mexican students who were kidnapped not very far from where I reclined.

We will recover from our holiday hangovers. We will focus on getting back to work on January 5th. We will set resolutions for gym memberships, making more money, taking less selfies, and 7-day juice cleanses. Meanwhile, mothers like Rachel Daniel will sit with her young son and hold photographs of her kidnapped daughter for photojournalists. Mothers in Guerrero will undergo quiet protests and interviews from the CIA, (who are now investigating the kidnappings).

So how do we move forward in 2015 with the current policy makers, police officers, and politicians of our countries? Do we take our frustrations to the streets? Do we let it out on our friends and neighbors? Do we join committees and institutions for change and leave our day jobs, freelance jobs and night-shifts?

I do not know what my goals are for 2015 just yet. I’ve never had the gumption to make such demands of myself. But I can only hope to reflect on change — not in the appearance of my body but the appearance of the world in which I dwell. It’s lofty, but so is trying to lose 15 pounds in 30 days.

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