Humanitarian Work Is Really Changing Centuries Old Habits

We humanitarians, NGO’s and even mission workers often forget something very critical. Habits, attitudes, and traditional patterns of thinking and behavior must change. That “amazing technology”, that amazing “idea” to, “Help those poor people over there”, is not the main thing. That flash of brilliance on our part  is not even close to being the…

When A Malian Says, “You Will Pity Them”

“Another irretrievable day has passed, and all I’ve done today is work for money.” (Cliff Vogh) My friend eloquently encapsulated one of the worst fears of my life. That working for money would become my daily routine and purpose. I have little comprehension how people work in cubicles, or the like. Punching a clock from…

The African Bush Does Not Seem So Empty Any More

There was a statement I was told by an international worker in Ivory Coast; He said, “You are never really alone in Africa.” I was in Ivory Coast at the time, and the statement proved true. No matter how far in the rain forest you go, if you stop, someone hears you and comes out…

Brakes or Horn In West African Elephant Grass?

There is a joke that goes around  West Africa saying, “You know you have been in West Africa too long when your brakes and horn both stop working, but you pay to have the horn fixed first.” In west Africa, honk your horn 2 seconds before any light turns green. Honk at all animals, pedestrians,…

When African Religion Gives Scars and Demands Blood

“The problem for Daouda was that he was stuck in this rejected middle ground. His family did not want anything to do with him. Yet the Christians he knew were afraid to go near him as well. Because he used to curse, abuse and spit on them before, as a good practicing radical.”