GoneDesert Flower by Waris Dirie Summary Study Guide

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Plot Summary Part 2

But after being hung from a tree for several days Wife #2 became nicer to Waris. Being stripped nude and hung from a tree is considered behavioral therapy in Somalia.

The local gypsy came by to cut off the v_gina of Waris' older sister, Aman. In Somalia men do not want to marry a woman unless they have had their clitoris and lips of their v_gina cut off and then the whole bloody mess sewn up and sealed to guarantee that no other man has gotten there before them.

Waris watched as her mother grabbed Aman and held her down. Aman started to bleed profusely as the gypsy cut off parts of her v_gina lips. Aman got up and tried to escape but Mrs. Waris caught up to her and held her down while the gypsy proceeded to finish sawing off her v_gina lips.

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When it was Waris's turn, Waris went meekly with her mother to the gypsy. The gypsy took out a broken razor blade that was covered with dried blood. A broken razor blade with dried blood on it is the most typical surgical instrument in Somalia. In order to sterilize it, the gypsy spit on the razor blade. This is how surgical instruments are sterilized in Somalia.

The gypsy proceeded to cut off the lips of Waris's v_gina, including her clitoris. It was very painful but Waris was obedient and let her mother hold her. Waris wanted her mother to be proud of her.

As if the pain of having her v_gina lips cut off wasn't enough, the gypsy put a series of painful thorns into what remained of her v_gina and then stitched her up, sealing her v_gina so no unauthorized p_nis could get in there. Waris passed out from the pain, but when she recovered and looked around her, she noticed part of her v_gina sitting on the desert sands.

Waris was in incredible pain, especially when she urinated. Her wound got infected. The gypsy never thought that a bloody, spat on razor blade could cause infection. Waris had to have her legs tied together for a month so her wound would heal. When it finally healed Waris saw that her v_gina had been sealed like a zipper. She had been left a tiny hole to urinate though but it was so small that it took a long time to go to the bathroom.

Waris went out into the desert to look for her lost v_gina. But it was gone, perhaps eaten by a hyena. Having your v_gina eaten out by a hyena is very common in Somalia.

One day they discovered one of Waris's sister, Fauziya, in the process of being raped by a neighbor. They heard her scream and ran to her and discovered white, sticky semen on her black legs. Mr. Waris protected his children from rapists, because he knew that if his daughters were raped he would be unable to sell them for as many camels.

One day Mr. Waris told her that he loved her very much and that tomorrow she would be sold to a 60 year old man with a long white beard. Waris was about 13 at the time. Waris didn't like this but Mr. Waris said it was great because her soon to be husband was so old because he was unlikely to fool around with other women.

But even more importantly, Mr. Waris was excited because the 60 year old man was paying five camels for Waris. Mr. Waris was really excited to get five camels and considered his daughter a small price to pay for them. He told Waris he was so proud that he could sell her for five camels. In Somalia, fathers are proud of their daughters when they can fetch a lot of camels upon their sale as 13 year child old brides.

Waris runs away. She makes it to a town and finds a man who knows her Uncle Ahmed. The man offers to take her to her Uncle Ahmed after Waris goes home and has a short nap with him. Waris didn't want to but the man said if she wanted his help to find Uncle Ahmed, she must nap with him. Waris agrees. But when she lay down next to the man he tries to rape her. She ran away.

Waris eventually found Uncle Ahmed without being penetrated by other Somali men, a remarkable feat in Somalia. Uncle Ahmed was surprised to see her but insisted she return to her father because Ahmed was worried that there weren't enough family members to take care of his camels. In Somalia, family members worry more about camels than they do about other family members.

So Waris ran away again, to Mogadishu, the war-torn capital of Somalia. Mogadishu, as the capital, looked exactly like New York City, after New York City had been totally destroyed by a  nuclear bomb. It wasn't a nice place.

Waris got to meet her Grandmother. As a Muslim, she dressed from head to toe in black, covering her entire body, even wearing a dark veil over her face.  Waris went to stay with another Aunt. But in return for room and board, her Aunt wanted her to play babysitter for her wild children.

So Waris fled to yet another Aunt. She took a job at a construction site, and made money to give to her mother. Her Aunt said she knew a reliable man who would deliver the money Waris earned to Waris's mother. The man took the money, and Waris's mother never saw a penny of it. This is very common in Somalia.

Waris gets a job as a maid in London. Yet another of her Aunts and Uncle work at the embassy there and agree to take on Waris as a maid. Waris was so excited. She even got her first pair of shoes. She had no luggage as she had no other clothes.

She boarded an airplane and for the first time in her life saw white people. Waris didn't know what to think. She thought maybe they were white because they didn't spend enough time in the sun. She thought they had turned white because they had been out of the sun too long. Waris wanted to touch them to see if some of the white would rub off.

While on the flight, Waris had to go to the bathroom. But she had never used a toilet before. She urinated in it but did not know how to flush it.

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