By Lelety Mabasa
Mariah turns on her back. She winces from pain as she stretches her arms. She sleeps on the ground, and her thin blankets hardly protect her from the rough surface. From her room, she calls out to her neighbour in the other room, telling her to bathe the kids as she will not be bathing early today. She is normally the first to use the bathroom, but she will be the last today - she is not going to work because nurses are on strike.
As she continues with her “sleep,” Mariah reflects back on her college days, when she and her friends could not wait to graduate. They dreamt of “making names for themselves out there. ” They fantasized about owning houses in the country's posh surburbs, being the first to have the latest model cars, having happy marriages and a modest family with three children who would all go to the best schools the country has to offer. These naively hopeful students also planned on buying nice houses for their parents.
That was four years ago.