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June 07, 2006



A good story to tell, and well-told. One of my close college friends has been doing refugee aid in Africa for several years now. Like the photographer, she'd happily do it without pay, for the sheer humanity of it, everyone's humanity.

Yes, let's tell the stories. Wonderful post!

Beth, Tom's advice was perfect. You have the gift of story-telling in abundance, the eyes and ears to pick the ones to tell, the self-discipline to stay with it and the skill to put it all together so beautifully. What more does a writer need? A blog (yes!). An audience (yes!). A publisher (yes!).

What a wonderful man this passport photographer is and how lucky he was to be celebrated by you.

Yes, that is a story worth telling. And wonderfully told. And a gift. Thank you.

good story, Beth. It's always good to be reminded of how much we have and often take for granted.

Wow. Fascinating story, Beth. And without your blog I wouldn't know anything about this.

Oh, Beth, thank you. There is such joy in finding the work we are meant to do, work that we'd do for "no pay" just as this photographer would. You have found that kind of work telling the little stories of hope, and some day - in addition to your father-in-law stories - you may want to publish THE BIG BOOK OF THE LITTLE STORIES OF HOPE. If we keep our eyes and ears open, the stories keep accruing. But you know that, so enough....

Wonderful. That photographer is doing exactly what *you're* doing here: telling (and thus saving) the stories of all the individuals who otherwise would be faceless. Keep doing it, please, because it's work that needs doing.


Wonderful story. Thank you. Keep it up.

Those African women, and their bearing. I often wonder what is it they know that Westerners don't, or that Westerners have forgotten. Is it suffering? Is it community? Is it a dignity that doesn't take its source in material circumstances?

One of the conversations that happens often in the media in this part of the world is about what materially poor countries can learn from materially rich ones. A conversation that I'd like to see more of (and I think many people here will agree with me) is about the opposite: what do "they" know that we don't?

Thank you for writing, Beth.

Yes. Along those lines, I was encouraged by a recent change in the Episcopal Church's approach to "mission", where they acknowledged this former mindset as being simply wrong in today's world, saying that the developed world had just as much to learn from the poor and less-developed world, and redefining the focus of mission as simply "being with." Of course economic help needs to flow from richer to poorer, but I thought this refocussing and redefining about the other types of exchange was a very important step.


You do tell a story very well, and your people stories are as compelling as your descriptions. I think it's because you're so open to approaching people and you listen to them closely. I'm sure they enjoy the experience as much as we do, who are only listening over the transom.


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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.