Amy Brenneman
Amy Brenneman

December 16, 2012

Catching Up

Amy In Peru

I haven’t written a post in some time, and now I write from about 35,000 feet.  Or something.  Not that I’m a pilot and sadly, I did see recently see Flight. Those of you who saw it understand my anxiety right now….


I am flying to Lima, Peru with my family and friend Melissa Lambert.  We are going to a place we’ve never been, and I will be doing something I’ve never done before – visiting a rural hospital in Ayacucho run by CARE.  I first became involved with CARE a couple of years ago after reading Half The Sky, which convinced me that the solution to the world’s problems will be solved by women and girls.  We are the most vulnerable – we women and girls – due to human trafficking, abuse, wage inequality, cultural chauvinism and all the rest of the issues that crystalized when that Taliban guy shot Malala in the face.  We don’t really need to look much further than that.


But we are the solutions as well, according to CARE.  The evidence is in the success of micro-loan programs, education of girls, and increasing the percentage of women in local and national governments.  Simply put:  where there are more women, there are more solutions.  It simply cannot be business as usual anymore.


So that’s where I’m going and I will be writing about the trip, for CARE’s website and mine.  I have wanted to take a trip like this for some time.  Over the years, CARE has politely offered, repeatedly, to send me to Malawi, India, Ghana.  I always say yes and then I always had to back out.  It was the pesky problem of raising children and holding down a job.  I truly wanted to be Angelina Jolie, but I couldn’t figure out how to swing it between driving to baseball practice and 6 am Private Practice calls.


But in the last couple of years my children have become better travelers (fingers crossed), and honestly last September, when the election rhetoric was starting to heat up and I suspected that my TV show would be wrapped by Christmas (and most importantly the baseball season would be over), I thought:  now is the time.  I called up CARE.  They set me up to see this program in Peru.  And here we are.


The election. You all know how mouthy and active I was during that time.  There was so much inflammatory rhetoric that never rolled down by back.  I was thin-skinned. I was enraged. I was scared. I was dumfounded by the dumb-dumb comments by all those guys about rape and abortion and aren’t we happy they have been silenced by not having been re-elected.


But the thing that was most wounding to me was the constant language of division.  I know, I know, it’s a sporting match and there has to be two teams which oppose one another and we, the fans, have to identify with one or another.  Or at least that’s the why its traditionally practiced.  But the ugliness of the rhetoric – the language of haves and have-nots, the one percent, the 47 percent, the tax brackets –it was relentless, no?  And even though I was relieved at the outcome of the election, a seed was planted to get my family shaken up a bit and put us into another culture and out of our habits of being first world fat cats.


I told my husband Brad that this past election I “broke my own fourth wall.”  I have always been opinionated, God knows, but often preaching to my choir and often in the safety of my own four walls.  Between canvassing in Colorado and phone banking in Inglewood, I got a taste of getting out there, of physically being with other humans and actually conversing about these things we all care so passionately about.  I will get more of a taste of that in Peru.  And I have a feeling I’m going to want more and more.


December 11, 2012
LAN Flight to Lima