From a charitable hospital in the Indian Himalayas. Hallways filled with patients. Meg and Ryan https://www.flickr.com/photos/99689885@N00

The normalcy of crisis

People collapsing unable to breathe. Hospitals stretched past their limits of space and manpower. Life-and-death decisions over who gets a ventilator and who does not. In the worst-hit countries hundreds of people are dying every day. The West has not experienced this in our lifetime. But here it is familiar. In September I shared Alia's …

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Locked down in a little home (video)

I've never posted a video, but there's a first time for everything. More firsts than usual in these strange days. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPIWQE1Gi9A   Last night we had been on local lockdown since Sunday when the prime minister ordered a complete national lockdown of 21 days. The order claims we cannot leave our home, though later clarifications …

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slum demolition

Slums exist to be destroyed

Watching people's homes crushed to the ground is a horrible experience. Two years ago I saw police officers assemble in a nearby slum. I walked inside to find bulldozers obliterating brick and stick dwellings. Families were crying while a line of 50+ heavily armed officers blocked anyone who might attempt to stop them. I felt …

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Capital matters. Social capital matters more.

As I've shared about life in the slum, I've focused on material things: homes, electricity, water, etc. With that stuff it's relatively simple to measure the differences between life here and in the West. But as you may have discerned from the incident with Alia as well as the boys on the train, there are …

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House made of straw, wood, brick, or….?

Last week it rained for three days. On that third night I realized my pad was getting soaked. I thought the rain had gotten around the edges of the window, but I looked closer....and it was coming through the wall! Our room was built with secure-looking bricks, but they're just one layer deep and on …

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