A humanitarian worker who has worked in the Congo, Sudan, Chad, Somalia and many others recently reached out to us with an inspiring story. She told us of the hardship and suffering she has seen, and described how her retelling of stories from The Expanse brings a ray of light to the children she works with. She asked to remain anonymous, but agreed to write a short piece about her experiences for our blog. This is her story.
It is a normal early morning in the middle of nowhere. Silence only broken by the heavy rain tapping on the roof.
Dressing, coffeeing and heading to the hospital.
The hospital is beautiful but rotten – degraded by the weather and years of misery. Then, the silence is broken by dozens of human beings stuffed under the balconies, children screaming and trying to play against all odds in this reduced space. All of them have something in common: big hungry eyes full of something between fear and disappointment.
The visit starts: Passing from maternity ward, to infectious diseases, to rehabilitation, laboratory… Trying not to mind that the beds are half disassembled, that there are no drugs for everybody, no electricity, no food, no nothing. But, there are stories to be told.
When there are no pills, people gather to listen and try to pass the day in the best possible way. So, here we go.
Depending on the day, the story starts differently, but they like very much when there is fighting, and of course making the sounds helps. Fortunately, there are no laser shooting sound effects (much too difficult to reproduce), but they – unfortunately – know quite well how bullets sound.
So, today we begin with the Roci fighting the cannon at Thoth Station, while the two pods are launched and the Osiris throws torpedoes at the Guy Molinari. It’s quite an entertaining moment and one of my favorites. It’s a bit difficult to explain the scene with these little kids watching, making gestures and mimicking flight like the Roci. How they imagine space, or the mag boots, or even the ships, I don’t know – probably the Roci becomes something similar to a 4×4. They impersonate Amos (they very much prefer the strong to the clever or anyone else for that matter) going from one side to the other side of the room, crashing into everything in the middle – imagining they are making repairs in high-g acceleration maneuvers. The story gets cut off every now and again as they ask questions: “but who is the boss?”, “where is the treasure hidden – in the station?”, “Do the girls fight too?”, “Is the Roci the best or is the bad one the best?”, and so on.
For them, the internet doesn’t exist and there are no devices to surf or play on – at all. The only communication method they know about are the HF and VHF radios, which only exist in the hospital, so I try to explain to them that screens are like automatic books or show them my phone so they can see what I am talking about.
Once, I showed them a short video (Youtube) where they could watch the Roci and the dream team, the stars and Mars for real and they were very much impressed. One of them asked me what he had to do to go to space and fight up there.
The message that I would like to spread out is that The Expanse is not always lived or known in the USA, Europe or Australia. That there are little children, sick, hungry and without shoes who also know about this little universe that the writers have created for all of us. They are our belters.
“If we have a voice, we can still be heard” – Marama Brown, S01E05
If you enjoyed this story and would also like to share how The Expanse inspired you or the people around you, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us here!