Cliche

I know it is rather cliche to have the White American taking her picture surrounded by black children.  It says “Look at me! See how I am in Africa?” (Haiti, China, Russia….) “Look at how I love children, look at how I am helping, I went all the way around the world to hug these sad lonely kids.”

Kids at the Addis feeding program

Well, I just have to say that is not me.  I do not just want to hug children and get my pictures taken to show the world that I am helping.   But I always feel a little weird when I am taking them.  Like I am an imposter in their world.  That I am taking advantage of their poverty.

meeting kids on the street by our guest house

But really, behind it all, I am just so amazed, and even a bit infatuated with these lives that are so different than my own.  Every child has a story behind their face.  I want to remember it.  Every home, every clothes line, every man walking down the street with a jug of water on his head is a part of this world.  A part of this world that I can not identify with or relate too.

Laundry hanging in someone's "yard"

2 Muslim women meeting on the road

Every photo I take is a reminder to me of the diversity in the world.  Of the lessons I learned from each face, moment, experience.

Boy involved in YZM's programsBoy selling hats to tourists

The child I sponsor and his mom

And if I have the privilege of being in a picture with these people?  It is for me to remember the joy I felt in their presence.  To remember the hospitality they gave me.

Our training group

The 3 Americans with our great host and sister, Helina

Hands of friendship

It also helps me remember that a picture is never enough.

This boy cleaned my shoes for 1 Birr (about .10 cents)

This man was scooting down the street and has the thinnest legs I have ever seen

children at the Holeta feeding program, desperate for attention

 

 

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