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Friday, March 08, 2013

Djibouti: When giving is taking

Recently, Emily in Sierra Leone confronted burglars who had been her friends. What made the crowd gasp most was not her overlooking the theft, but her offer to continue the friendship. She comments, "Just goes to show you how they are more relationally minded than money minded."

On the other side of the continent, Rachel Pieh Jones was finding out how quickly money undermines those values:

My language helper…

Before she worked for me:

One day her son fell into the open, coal-burning fire pit and burned his hand. Neighbors heard the screams, ran for help, and within minutes the boy was in a car zooming toward the Djiboutian hospital. Someone paid the entrance fee. Someone else paid the taxi. Someone else brought meals while he healed. Someone else watched the other children. Someone else covered her hours mopping in the Minister for Sports’ office…

After she started working for me:

Her uncle died and the family needed money for the burial. “Get it from your American friend,” her brother said.

That same brother owed money to a Kenyan. “Get it from your American friend,” he said.

Her son fell off a wall at school and needed stitches. “Get the money from your American friend,” her neighbors said.

Read the rest of Rachel's guest post on Jessica Goudeau's website, "Love is what you do".

Both Rachel and Emily think deeply about their actions and don't necessarily expect the world to pat their heads and cheer them on. They are prepared to take risks and lose if need be.

Not just emotionally: at another point in her blog Emily tells us, "I've already researched how to make sure they do NOT send in any Special Forces to rescue me if I decide to be an idiot and stay when things get bad."

Extract reproduced with the kind permission of Rachel and Jessica. All original material is copyright of its author. Fair use permitted. Contact via comment. Nothing here should be taken as personal advice, financial or otherwise. No liability is accepted for third-party content, whether incorporated in or linked to this blog; or for unintentional error and inaccuracy.

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