Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Horn of Africa ... and kids

She and her brother ran out to meet me as I climbed the hillside to their home.  Acquaintances from a year earlier, I was surprised she remembered me.

In Djibouti, our friends (photos, left and below, from JAN '11) live in the most basic of circumstances.  Food and water occupy much of the family's efforts.  Kids are cheerful meeting a traveling white guy; mom and dad are polite but showing the stress of the days.  In the city's fringe area where they live, unemployment is around 80% now.

It's common for us to wince and turn away from those in need.
It's too big for me to make a difference.
I can't help. Foreign aid is so messed up.

It's worth noting though, that these are people.  Folks just like us.  Good men and women, working so hard to feed their families, struggling today with impossible circumstances.  We who live in such comparative ease can afford to lend a hand.  (And text donating is really cool.)

We'll try to check on the families in October when we're there. (UPDATE: we did!) We can't do a lot, but we can lend a hand, right? 

It rained once when we were in Djibouti.  We asked how often it happens because it was a pretty nice rain that lasted a couple of hours.  They told us it happens like that every year or so.

In Balbala, kids tentatively smile at visitors.
The land is difficult to cultivate; most areas won't support so much as a small garden.  Click on the photos to get a close-up look.

Said a bit differently ...

HORN OF AFRICA: Fast facts about the drought.