My stomach is in knots. Someone from our Haiti office got kidnapped. She is negotiating for her life. We are still going there next month, but now they are talking of armed guards accompanying us. We work with missionaries. What armed guards? Nuns with guns? Sister Mary Bazooka?
I know Haiti is dangerous, but hells bells, as Mom would put it, something like this hammers it home. I have a friend who got kidnapped a couple of years ago. They blindfolded her and held a gun to her temple and threatened to blow her head off. To this day, she still cannot sleep at night. Each time I visit, I bring her stacks and stacks of books. Romances. She reads English books, which are hard to find. For her, romance truly is an escape into another world.
And some people scoff at romance and call it “crap.”
I can't rejoice in anyone's good news right now. I'm too worried that this person from our office will end up like Margaret Hassan, dead in some street with a bullet to her head. Worried about my safety when I travel to Haiti next month. Worried about this horrid depression sliding over me. It's crippling me. What’s the point of trying to write or sell another romance? How can I even talk about this with my “ordinary friends” who don’t understand the kind of work I do and the circumstances I sometimes face?
WHY does this work have to be so hard? Maybe we should recruit nuns with guns. Sister Mary Bazooka, equipped with an M-16, cheerfully wending her way through slums, doling out food to the hungry, and poking the gun’s muzzle into the faces of thugs who try to kidnap her.
In her thick Irish brogue Sister Mary Bazooka warbles to the startled gunmen, “Saints and begora, ye be trying any of your funny stuff on me and I’ll send yee fer a talking to with the Father right away. And I’m NOT talking of Father O’Hara, either. The Big Guy Upstairs. The one that’s gonna kick yer arse to the ‘down’ escalator and toast your nuts like they was Girl Scout marshmallows. Yee feeling lucky today, boyo? Huh? Huh?”