Recycling is not the answer

Last week Holly mentioned that plastic recycling is in trouble in America too. I found out from an article in the Atlantic that cities across the country have ended their recycling programs. Why? Because China has stopped accepting our soiled trash due to health risks, environmental damage, and increased labor costs. Without tens of thousands of Chinese …

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The slum recycles the city, but…

When my young friend Hamza built his electric cars, he procured the material from local recycling shops. This network of recyclers is a remarkable process quite unlike anything we see in the West. In America we took our recyclable material to large depots in industrial zones. Here in the majority world those depots tend to …

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Saudi Arabian Airlines HZ-AR12 787-900 EGCC 05.08.2017 OVER 1.5 MILLION VIEWS by airplanes_uk on Flikr

Unintended consequences

I posted about my friends' loss of their fathers because I was thinking about Danish. He left the slum two weeks ago to work in Saudi Arabia. He will be gone two years. Away from his home, his family, his country. They saw it as the best option for Danish to begin to help the …

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Funeral_procession by Nico Crisafulli

All my friends’ moms are widows

(I shared this somewhere else when it happened, but recent events have me thinking about it again.) Sultan’s ears perked up to hear the mosque's announcement. I usually ignore them because, in a slum of close to 10,000 people, the messages rarely concern my own circle. But I stopped and listened because Sultan wasn’t going …

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Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in 1913. Photo courtesy National Library of France.

Who is worthy to live here?

On May 31, 1912, nineteen-year-old Frank Zebrauskas and his brother Anthony stepped off a ship onto Ellis Island. Though originating from Lithuania they had used the Russian spelling of their name, Zabrowski, on the ship’s manifest. As with all Ellis Island arrivals, that spelling became their official identification. No pre-approval was necessary and 98% of …

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