transplanted from an email sent today to a friend back home:
while you might still be sleeping (i hope), i have been on about 5 taxi rides already through the city... and at almost every stoplight, there were a couple of little kids that came up and wanted some money. kids that may or may not be in school (obviously they weren't at that moment), that may or may not have been sent by their parents to beg on the street (have you seen slumdog?), and may or may not get hit by a car in the process (ethiopia has the highest rate of motor vehicle related fatalities in the world - 90% of those that die are pedestrians). it was hard. it's the hardest part of coming to places like this. life is hard sometimes, even though so many things are so beautiful. there is so much hope here, yet so so many things that are still so wrong. i think you would do well in a place like this. you are so honest and genuine, and even though some things here are shocking, it's still the world, and it's still deserving of love. the kids here would love you so much, but i think you'd love them even more. the world needs more people like you... idealistic, but not yet jaded. i think it was too easy for me to just keep moving on in the taxi, sitting there in my suit with my important business meetings to go to... and that bothers me. the world needs people like you that can cry at the brokenness of things, but then stand up the next minute and take action. people that aren't afraid to give money to street kids - even though it may keep them out of school - because at the same time they're also working behind the scenes at making the schools better, so the kids have something to go to in the first place. someone that isnt afraid to love the world for what it is, broken, but beautiful.