Sunday, May 2, 2010

As I Depart for Ethiopia

This month I hope to tell stories that restore what has been stolen.

Adichie explains, "Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity,"

"Show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become." What has Ethiopia become to you? What story have you heard?

Undebatably, there has been a single Ethiopian story shared louder than the rest. I yearn to remain epochs away from the long painful history of well-intended aid that too-often bends toward heist of human dignity. Perhaps I'll be given the gift of sharing with you another story—a story reaching beyond distended bellies and buzzing flies on fecal-splattered faces as barefoot children walk dry clay streets. Perhaps I'll share a story of hope that's come so close you can touch it.

This month of May, these are the things I hope for. Will you please join me in Ethiopia?

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