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Monday, March 26, 2007


On certain few days there is a miracle: a trip to work without a single call of "obruni!" and a generally low level of interest in me. It's like I'm temporarily local. On days such as these my head slowly lifts from my straightline stride, and I look at the world around me, notice new things, new shops chops and kiosks, new streets. I observe life around me without it swallowing me in unearned celebrity.

On such days as this I am more open to the world's inspiration and ideas. I read about an organization dedicated to "Africa's renewal" and I think, 'renewal, yes.' Renewal is a word I like better than 'development' with respect to how the later is used to describe poor countries' efforts to improve the lot of their people, because we are all developing so the effort to distinguish between rich and poor fails. But to say rich and poor is too simplistic and ignores how they got that way. Somehow 'renewal' ipplies that something that was good was destroyed by someone, hence the need to renew. It's development but, more speficically, it is an attempt to renew Africa to its former glory, while at the same time birthing something new and beautiful.

I propose we ditch the term 'international development' in lieu of 'international renewal.'


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