Going out in Africa is often part of being an expatriate. Whether you are 20 something or 50 something, I would venture to say that most of us go out more often when we are on the road or living abroad than we would in our own everyday lives.
While I certainly enjoy going out while I’m overseas, since I rarely do while I’m in DC, there is always part of going out that tends to put me ill at ease. This would be the numbers of prostitutes that frequent most bars and clubs, whether in Africa or Afghanistan. You can spot them a mile away, with fishnets, corsets, short shorts, and backless tops.
I’m generally a big people watcher and tend to enjoy observing the comings and goings wherever I am in the world. However, this would be the one exception that make my skin crawl.
I know the options are few and the demand has been created by an excess of horny white men, but still.
I hate to think of the wives and kids at home. The women here with their family ties now destroyed. Their odds of contracting HIV or other STIs. It can’t be a good life.
Here in Goma there is supposedly a contingent of women who have the commonality of children by Indian UN soldiers, creating a small minority ethnic group.
One of the unfortunate impacts of expatriate living. Many organizations, like mine, have strict policies against sexual exploitation and abuse, but unfortunately this is certainly not the norm. Outside this particular club were a handful of NGO cars and a lineup of UN vehicles.