"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

bad things happen to good people

Michael, the director of the orphanage at St. Mary Kevin’s is a mensch. He is a kindhearted, genuine, earnest and decent man. He works tirelessly to help these children who have so little.

Michael’s laptop was stolen. Now, I can certainly relate to the heartache, frustration and anger that he’s experiencing. My laptop was stolen when I was in Uganda. I lost a few pictures and a few things I’d written. Michael, however, has lost all the records he had been keeping with regard to the orphanage, all his project proposals… it’s immense. He described the theft as a “big loss in his life.” When I saw the subject title of the email, I was certain someone had died.

Immediately upon my return from Africa, I drove down to the local Apple store and replaced my stolen computer with a cool, shiny new one. Michael won’t be so lucky. Not only has he lost months and months of work, now he will simply do without a computer until something else comes along. (It was a gift in the first place.)

As I sit here in Kansas City thinking about it, I am just fuming – angrier than I was the first time around dealing with this stolen laptop scenario. I was a tourist – it was somehow understandable. Michael is a Ugandan. A Ugandan mensch, at that.

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