Saturday, June 20, 2015

Beyond Borders: A Visit to a Somali Refugee Camp in East Ethiopia

Me at Sheder Camp, Ethiopia.

June 20 is World Refugee Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

With news of hundreds of migrants risking death each year in the Mediterranean Sea and the Rohingya crisis in our Southeast Asian waters, the wars in Iraq, Syria, South Sudan and other African countries, the  refugee question now, more than ever, needs to be highlighted and addressed not only by world leaders and humanitarians but everyone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Listen, hombre!

Condescension. The trait of displaying arrogance by patronizing those considered inferior. A communication that indicates lack of respect by patronizing the recipient. A congenital disease common to Westerners, white folks, people from the developing world with symptoms that range from disdain to, ignorance of and prejudice against people -- blacks, browns, yellows -- from the developing world (aka their former colonies).

Ever since I got to Ethiopia and met and interacted with more "white" people (I had a crowd of international people back home, but they were mostly like-minded liberals, activists if you must, with the occasional drunk prick lost in the islands looking for exotic women), I've been subjected to hues of prejudice, some negligible (the folly of being human) but most are annoying, deprecating and infuriating. Because, no these guys are good guys, essentially. Not the usual arrogant, insolent, self-complacent racist, xenophobic bigoted troll. I've shot back a few times but mostly let it slip by.

Today, I've had enough of it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Strange Encounter: Dream, dream, dream

As I was about to enter the DDU main gate, a guy just coming out from campus, lit up upon seeing me.

"Hi. How are you, architect?" While stretching his arm for a handshake, of course.

Who is this guy? Puzzled, I answered smiling. "Heeey. Fine. How are you?"

I did not know the guy. It's probably the first time I'm seeing him. Yes, I tell myself. I don't know this guy. But that's fine, everyone says hi to everyone here. Most of the time.

But then...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Clean, crisp bills, again.

ATM Card. They call it Visa card here. It's Visa, indeed. 

After 5 months, I finally got my replacement ATM card. Clean, crisp bills. From cash machines. This means.