Fasting for Peace — Day Eleven

By: Magdalena Mendoza, Senior

Magdalena Mendoza, a Life Academy senior and RAW ladies, fasted on 1/26/12.

2 hours down: I came home and looked in the fridge immediately. Being denied the chance to fulfill your hunger is such a terrible thing. I cannot possibly imagine how much people who cannot afford food must suffer. It’s cruel just thinking about it.

16 hours down: It’s currently 4:31 AM. I went to sleep early last night so I wouldn’t feel hungry and be tempted to eat. I awoke at around 4:03 AM because my dogs were barking like crazy outside. They only do that when they see an unfamiliar face, so I began to feel scared. I had the fear of someone being outside my house. It was then that I started to reflect on my life in Oakland. It’s unjust that we have to go day-by-day, fearing our surroundings and trying to maintain alive. We should never have to do that, but we have to. Shootings occur unexpectedly. Others are just waiting on the right person to rob them of their belongings. It gets me angry because it shouldn’t have to be this way. I am glad that as a RAW member, I am raising awareness about the peace in our community. I still look forward to that day where everyone will no longer commit crimes and we will all live in peace. Poor innocent little kids are having their life taken away out of stupid acts and ignorance! I may be one high school senior with no power, but as a community, we are the power. Let’s make it right.

21 hours down: It is 9:28 AM. My stomach is asking for food. This sacrifice is worth it. I know it for a fact. I am just one person out of thousands that are suffering from hunger in this world. Yet, I have the ability to simply walk a couple of feet to reach the kitchen. Others walk miles in search of food, and may not even find any. Our community here in Oakland has the basic necessities. I attend a school that lacks the efficient school supplies needed to provide its students the education that students in richer neighborhoods obtain. Though, WE are the ones starting a change with our Season of Peace-Building.

1 hour after: It was amazing to be able to eat. I cannot describe in words how delicious my mom’s spaghetti was. I can truly say that homemade food is the best! On the other hand, I appreciate the people that have been involved in my upbringing. I committed to a pledge that had to do with my relationships with others. I am going to apply this pledge to my everyday life. We shouldn’t all care for this Season of Peace-Building for a day, and then after it’s over go back to our daily routine and mentality. For me, I am changing the way I act towards others and how I judge them.

I had the honor to fast for one day, but with that one-day experience came a totally different mentality toward my community. I am tired of hearing my peers speak of the dangerous city we live in and question me for having witnessed the horrific incidents the media shows. It’s sad. This is the reputation we’ve gained.

If only others knew that the strengths our community carries are what others lack. We provide such great support to one another. We may fail at certain things, but at least we fail together and continuously work to thrive. Oakland is such a beautiful place.  If you visit Oakland, you can see for yourself how you can divulge into different cultures by going to different parts of Oakland. It’s pretty amazing. I am proud to say I’m from East Oakland, and even prouder to be a part of the Season of Peace-Building at my school.

Edited By: Eva Oliver, RAW Co-Coach

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