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Africa

Photo by Marcus Bleasdale

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They told you that their enemies surrounded
the women, the countless rapes fifteen miles
from the border, even on the outskirts around

The Horn’s Dilemma

In spring 1985, with everyone’s expectant parents sweating and wedged into the auditorium chairs, it was my appointed task to kick off the school’s year-end performance by plinking out the opening strains of “We Are the World” on the music teacher’s Casio keyboard.

Photo by Marcus Bleasdale

The Royal Mara

The UNHCR Somali driver speeds by a small herd
of white cattle prodded along by a desert farmer.
rust-colored dust in its wake clouds barbed-

Photo by Marcus Bleasdale

The Dadaab Suite

Just as the World Food Program charter plane en route to Nairobi sped along the dirt airstrip to its lifting speed and began its ascent, I looked down at the sprawl of white tents and clusters of globular huts below where I had just spent a life-altering three days and vowed never to write about the experience of visiting the Dadaab Refugee Camp. Instead, I would content myself with making occasional trips to volunteer, and until then and meanwhile, help raise awareness about the oldest and largest UN administered refugee camp in the world. (Is it coincidental that this camp is also in Africa, the most historically neglected continent on earth?)

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