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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 24, 2013 10:55pm-11:56pm EST

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>> about every 40 or some form of global power has tried to come in and dominate the afghan scene and control it and use it for its own purposes. a there have end. so if afghan history when the
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rulers of afghanistan have taken it and which of the geographical position of afghanistan to play a sort of a neutrality card using the favoritism towards one global power, playing that against the possibility of leaning towards the other global power to keep both of them somewhat at bay. this has been the diplomatic strategy of successful afghan rulers whenever there have been any and the cold war for for example was a notable period. both the ussr and the essays were just to have guinness and both were competing to enlarge their influence in the country and somehow because of the counterbalancing of those two forces there was a period when afghans were in control of their own destiny and during that period use of modernization and change it at anna stan that was more rapid and more sort of traumatic than you have seen anywhere in this country.
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that period ended when the pendulum of trying to swing back and forth between the inner afghanistan and the outer worlds just started to swing so fast and so far that it finally crashed and the country sitcoms to a coup by a small communist group which then quickly was followed by the soviet invasion. i would contend that from that day to this, we are still in the aftermath of the aftereffects of the soviet invasion. the soviet invasion pretty much destroyed the fabric of the country. you know, the 6 million refugees that were driven out of the country, the destruction of the villages, the tearing apart of the tribal structures and the creation of a state of war in which you know the old traditional afghan systems for generating leadership gave way to a new system which was in
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that state of chaos if you had a gun than you were good with that you are probably going to end up being an important guy. so that's brought into being all whole class of afghan leaders who are commanders and now they call them warlords and that's entered the fray. when the soviets left, those guys all started writing each other and they tour the cities apart and then came the taliban. now we are in the country and i think we have come in with something of the same idea that the soviets had, which was this is a primitive country in a lot of trouble and if we can restore everything and produce some material benefits for the peopll and they will come over to our side. there is more to it than that however. afghans are very interested in material benefits like anyone is that there is a question of the reconstruction of the afghan
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institutions, the society, the soul, the family structure and the reconciliation of all these compounding factors on the afghan scene. this taliban business is not completely separate from the contentions within afghan society over dominating afghanistan. jessica alexander shares her experiences working for international aid agencies and were wanted darfur sierra leone and haiti. she talks about the correction she found while in the field and the many inefficiencies she felt the u.n. and other ngos operate. this hour-long event is next on both tv. [applause] >> hi. thank you darwin and thank you to the book summit, the richfield vibe very for having
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me. thank you to everyone who is here. it means so much to me to be here in richfield in my hometown in to see so many familiar faces i am sure some of you are also my dad's patience and me -- he may have threatenethreatened to stop treatment if he didn't come, but otherwise it's just wonderful especially the high school crowd where i learned to write and read good books. so it's really wonderful to be here so thank you. ..
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because it's so cajon in and lovely and i don't think that you appreciate how wonderful the town is until you are away from it with such other experiences. i just want to ge give a few caveats before i start reading. i am not a spokesperson for the community. i am one of many actors that works in the field. some people much longer than i have been. i worked about a dozen years people have worked twice to tie i've been working and three times more experience, much more expertise. i don't claim to have all of the answers about these issues
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because they are very complex and challenging. i worked in a number of different contacts. there were different paths to spurrier can take. some people work in one or two countries for many years and some people work for one agency. i jump around a lot for my personality. so that fit me well. but there is a lot of different paths that this profession can take. a lot of people have said aren't you kind of young to have written a memoir? yes. hopefully this is in th isn't tf my career or the end of my life. these are observations i've had over the ten years.
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the idea started when i would come home and have trouble reintegrating and try to explain to people that i was doing overseas and i couldn't really articulate it in any way that i didn't have these little soundbites i could wrap up without our four was or how it was like to work after the sin on the subway started writing down my own personal observations and then how different it was from what people thought it was him i would get back here and i wanted to demystify some of the perceptions about humanitarian aid from the media or just reading from some of these places overseas that seem scary when actually there are some incredible people and cultures have places but we never really get that side of it. i wanted to pull back this industry that we are not all saints and industry
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professionals. it is an industry, a multibillion-dollar industry. some people have called it a coming-of-age story and it does take place like when i graduated high school and tell, not high school, sorry, college until just a few years ago and so in the massive catastrophes so i write about that a lot as well. i know people are standing so i feel bad carrying on but i'm going to read for little then yevignettes and i will explain them and come to order.
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with the flashback it takes place in new york when i graduated from college and then it goes to rwanda where i was an intern at a un agency then i go back to new york then there are two that take place in darfur and then i go to sri lanka after the saddam ian 2005 and then i come back to new york and i go to sierra leone and jerusalem or the occupied palestinian territory and then he so i'm going to be reading from the rwanda where i first started o out, and then i'm going to go to new york and read about -- no, then i'm going to darfur, then i'm going to new york and haiti
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so i'm going to read a few pages from each of those. this part i'm reading now about rwanda is when i first arrived and i was having a hard time finding a place to live. people assumed you get housing automatically but at that point it was nine years after the genocide in rwanda and so rwanda was a very stable country at the time and it still is. and a so the organizations that you can come for an internship and find your own housing so i just sat down and i was staying in a hotel that i was on an internship budget that was rapidly running out so i needed to find a place to live and fast. surprisingly none of them were helping me. they all lived in these multi-story complex compounds and i was kind of asking around do you know any place to live and i was the new girl so
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everyone was like oh, good luck. so, anyway, you can imagine my sadness and loneliness, but i fell into this local family who kind of took me and so that's where this starts. but finally, some friends of friends who had worked there before i found gloria, a woman who lived downtown and ran an organization for widows of the genocide and told me to meet her one evening after work. when i arrived she woke up to me and shook my hand. so you are jessica. yes, i said. it's so nice to meet you. she wasn't a chatting that kind of person and getting to know her would take time and patience. she wore a bright yellow dress and carried a small blood whether patent dress skir curse. she had a driver who was already in the drivers seat of the car
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so i could get in the back. skinny ladies in the back, she said. i slithered inside. the car made a silence and my seat didn't stay upright so i supported myself by holding onto the back of hers. she pointed to the driver. he looked at me in the rearview mirror and smiled. he doesn't speak english. you may stay on the main road full of people walking home from work. i didn't know where she was talking about. a restaurant, store? that's where we live. we drove down the bumpy road of my seat jumping up and down with each pothole. he puffed up a round dust and after a 15 minute drive during traffic he put onto sidestreet a short distance from the office. he slowed down at the gate and beat. a young man opened it and he pulled into the driveway. come on, she said, holding the
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front seat forward for me to get out of the car. i interpersonal decorated house. the living room had a long black couch it faced a large entertainment console that looked as if it had come from a 1987 sears catalog. its cabinet held an old radio in small television. at the end of the room was a dining table with plastic covering still on the chairs. on the small table next to the couch was a doily. things were tidy and everything seemed to have been placed to deliberately. a bulb hung from the ceiling and walls surround it. we walked to the back of the house. gloria opened the door to what would be my room. the furniture was simple. a cursor, plastic table and a bed with a bright pink cover. one woman made of this. it's a part of our livelihood work she said proudly talking and one of the corners. she reached up to close a window close to the ceiling.
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there's a screen so you won't have problems with the bugs. she offered me tea and i accepted. she walked back from the kitchen holding a mug and said he will eat with us and be part of the family. i moved in that night. gloria wasn't married but had two daughters that lived in nairobi. a son my age into two little grandchildren gloria was a prominent woman in the community and by all local standards was rich with a car, driver, made and guard. later that night she returned home and introduced us. she smiled and put out her hand to shake mine. she didn't speak a word of english but it didn't matter. i was immediately at ease. sitting in their living room listening to them speak, this was the first time since coming to rwanda that i felt at home. the first night that he and i sat in silence. every so often we looked at each other and smiled. on the wall for two photographs. one was a man and another a
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woman both appear to be in their early 30s. i pointed them into gestured with a shrug of the shoulder. who are they? she looked up slowly and motioned to herself and then pointed to the ground. gloria walked in and translated matter-of-factly. those are betty's children killed in the genocide. i looked back to her face was down gazing into her mug me at her house is filled with a reminder of her children's death, her two grandchildren whom she was raising. from the living room we could hear them bouncing around the bedroom googling. i seek out photos from my backpack. i pointed to my brothers as she took a small album and brought it closer to her face so she could see. betty pointed to me with a somewhat confused but animated smile. this is you? she looked at me again and said something to gloria in french. she said you're very pretty, gloria yelled back to the other
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room. i blushed. sure i looked pretty in the photo of my brothers graduation with makeup and my blown out hair. i looked down and ran my hand across my face. of course she doesn't recognize me. she pointed to my mother and father and smiled again. at first i wanted to shout back how do you say my mother died in french but i didn't. i pointed to the ground exactly as betty had done. and she just knew that strange expediency is not speaking the same language. so that was in rwanda. this next one takes place in darfur and i wanted to read this one because it kind of captures this feeling a lot of us in this industry feel which is you are confronted with overwhelming needs all around you on a macro
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scale but you are forced to block out the individuals because that's not how we work. we work on large-scal large scas that help solve them. it's hard to devote energy to single individuals when there are thousands around you just like them. it's a constant internal struggle that you face. i'm still quite young and naïve in this field and this is the part where, you know, i'm confronted with an individual who needs help and i come at this with a personal connection with this person and so it sort of crowds my professional judgment. so, i was leading a cancer there were 24,000 internally placed
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people and it sounds really impressive but my job really there are 20 or so organizations that work there doing water sanitation and i am basically a messenger between the communities, so if the water plant blocks tv coverage i told them to go fix it so i had a close relationship with people because i'm the interlocutor. this fell off. okay. i guess i'm being a little too animated. so anyway, i was close with one of the camp leaders whose name was ahmed. after weeks of camp meetings, ahmed and i were friends. it was hard to know how old a
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ahmed was. his head was wrapped in a turban. a soft-spoken gentleman with a subtle mannerisms carried himself with a wisdom and authority of an elder and the other committee members and i treated him as one. he and i had an unspoken understanding. sometimes i knew what he was saying just by the tone of his voice. regardless of what was going on in the camps, the regular first festive the camp meeting had the usual agenda overcrowding in the schools, broken latrines, food distribution disputes. ahmed approached us. my niece is sick. can you come see her? i'm not a doctor, i said. i know but she need that she nei don't know what else to do. i suggested he take her to the clinic and he looked down. i already have. i will i promise you to the next morning i was there to meet with
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an agency where the residencies cattle are. they had a pastor on the part of the land of the residents already cleared out to build a prayer space to really needed to find an alternative. ahmed is waiting for me at the registration center. as soon as i saw him i remembered. i will come after this meeting. he waited in the corner until after i finished. okay, let's go. we piled into the vehicle off to his tent. his personal and is larger than that of many other families. he planted shrubs to plant a date and my pants almost got stuck to one of the tree branches. he pulled back one of the plastic sheets to the tent and we slipped inside. his speaker believed her sister sat on the floor with a towel over her lap. she looked up over we walked in but her face was expressionless. ahmed said something quietly. she pulled back the blanket. under leaf were her infant
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daughter her had was twice the size to make looked like a balloon on top of a skeleton. the nose was distorted, eyesockets sunken in, cheeks and four had bags of fluid. her neck twisted awkwardly to support. she let out gasps of discomfort. he sighed. i felt queasy. i'd never seen anything like this. have you taken her to the hospital? us, ahmed said. what did they say? they can't do anything for her. there are surgeries that she can get it in khartoum. he covered her head again and stood up. she has to get to cartoon that i said then. yes, we have to get her to khartoum he repeated. we will get her there, we will get hurt to khartoum i said to the sisters still sitting on the floor. i went back to the office but none of the doctors were there so i called the only doctor i
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knew i could reach, dad. [laughter] she had swelling in the head, a condition they usually catch in utero in this stage my father said when i finished describing the fight scene. he was sitting in a lounge chair on the beach in fire island. will she died, i asked. if she's not treated, yes. they drain fluid from her head and she can be okay. her head is already huge. how much time? it's hard to go from here, but she needs to get treatment soon. there was an urgency about the situation that helps you. perhaps it was the personal relationship i had with ahmed, but whatever it was it jolted me into action. the storms, these were out of my control. that's a sick child, that i could actually do something about. there is a girl in the camp. she has hydrocephalus. what is that? its swelling in the brain or something. her head is huge and she needs
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treatment. her family has a cost at other options. we have to get her on a plane to khartoum. he leaned back and combed his fingers through his hair. they won't let them on the flight, you know that. the world food program was the agency that transported workers in and out by plane. i know but can't we pay for her and her family to get on a commercial flight out of here? we can't do that. we can't pick and choose who to fly to khartoum for medical treatment. okay i'm going to pay for her flight, i informed him. i don't think you can do that either. it will be seen as coming from our agents even if you pay out of your own pocket. i called the khartoum office and asked them that i got the same response. last month there were a few with heart conditions who needed to be sent. the emergency coordinator told me we couldn't do it. we can't send some people and not others. it would be chaos. i talked to the whole coordinator and one of the clinics who said the same thing. there were people that had issues a month ago. we could take them all.
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what happened, i asked. two of them already died, she said. with every rejection i intensified. i didn't have this clinical detachment before. how could i go back and tell him there was nothing i could do, nothing the humanitarian community could do to help, but he would have to watch his knees by? the next week i spent a week with unicef and none of which would agree to help get her on the flight because it wasn't in their mandate. it wasn't in other words what they had come to do and therefore they were not responsible. emergencies developed programs for tens of thousands of people on a larger scale operations provided little to many. but working on an individual level a case-by-case basis wasn't what we were in the business of doing. i sat across from a logistics officer from the united nations organization that oversees emergencies. look we have requests to go to
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khartoum every day. if we took up every request we couldn't operate. i know. it's sad. we can't set this precedent. if we fly her there for free how we tell the next person we can't fly them? shouldn't we be flying sick people to khartoum for treatment? should be part of our job? we are here to save lives and reduce suffering, aren't we? we can't save everyone, my dear, he had a point as did everyone else. i may have been wildly naïve. i understand the arguments in the abstract. my personal relationship with ahmed was blurring my logic, but giving shelter, a few bars of soap and providing overcrowded schools and medical care but wouldn't stand up to malpractice lawsuits at home, this was the total of the humanitarian operation? this was the best we could do? over resources into getting us here around with foreign land to help us? don't even bother. don't let this one go, he instructed me over dinner one
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night. it's not going to happen so you shouldn't worry anymore. others were not as sympathetic. all this time you could be helping a lot of other people. get back to your job, or could hold me over a smoke in the office when he knew i was obsessing about it. i refuse to rationalize the path of least resistance. i was determined to get her to khartoum the matter with logistical challenges i had to overcome, no matter what the accuracy they had to navigate, no matter the number of people sitting behind desks who politely said i can't help. i have heard no any times before they can coordinator when we didn't have the funds to purchase crucial sanitation equipment, when we were not able to transport right to a sister camp because an impossible road. no, it is not possible. it's an uncomplicated way out but i found bending rules and mandates. they are in a bit of creativity were the only ingredients required to turn the impossible into reality. and you will have to read to see what happens. [laughter]
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so, you can imagine coming from a situation like that to coming back home would be a little bit jarring. so, this little vignette takes place. i went right from darfur to sri lanka and indonesia after the suwanee, and then i came home. and this takes place a few days after i get home. i returned home three days before the wedding shower of what best friends from high school. although i had looked forward to the party, coordinating my flight connection so i could make it, by the time i got home i was dreading it. hold on, sorry. all he wanted to do was lie in bed and watch television. excuse me. wall in order reruns were
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particularly good at making the time pass. excuse me. i wasn't at all prepared to put on a dress or make small talk, but i was a bridesmaid and i had a line to read in the poland. so i took the train from connecticut to washington dc where she lives now. when i arrived at the shower i followed the law staircase to the room decorated in a pristine pink and white. flower petals were sprinkled on the tables. everyone was perfectly dressed and i was wearing the only pair of shoes i have been able to find that morning and sweat this website or into an eighth grade piano recital. this is the first time i had seen rebecca since her engagement party once before. she had lost weight and her body seemed overwhelmed by all the attention. i approached her and we hugged. it's so good to see you, she said, touching my hair. i hadn't have a chance to get a haircut and my opinion it looked like i was wearing a way.
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you look amazing. thank you. how are you, she asked. honestly i'm not okay. i'm having a hard time, surprised to find i was tearing up. i'm sure we will get into it later but not here, she said to stroking my hair. i wished she would stop. sorry, i said quickly and there is. thanks. i'm so glad you're here. she turned to greet a cousin behind me. around me when men were men going near the bar. a long bench was stacked high with gifts wrapped in delicate paper of texture within. waiters in taxi goes past colorful hors d'oeuvres and glasses of champagne. i grabbed one. i could've driven by the last time i had seen most of these women. i spotted an old classmate who i kept an occasional touch and made my way to her. my god, how are you? she hugged me trying not to spill her bloody mary or potato puff. i responded cautiously. i'm good.
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i mean, i'm okay. how are you? whatever. i'm fine. i want to hear about you. what was it like? it was hot. right, i'm sure. and hard. it was really hard. the tsunami response is so complicated. she was nodding but her eyes were over the wondering. while she might have been interested in where i've been and worked, my friend didn't have the words to talk about it and the truth was, neither did i. jen just wanted to know how i was doing. it was the one struggling to put sentences together. i didn't have party anecdotes to rattle off for stories to cause a crowd to gather. most mornings i have trouble bringing myself to get out of my pajamas. i reflected the conversation back to her. how are things with you? good but it's nothing compared with what you do. an acquaintance over heard the conversation. i heard that you were away. she told me in indonesia for the tsunami?
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yes. yeah. oh my god. so, how was it? was it fun or devastating? [laughter] when a question like that about one of the most publicized of natural disasters in the world came from a graduate of yale law school i wasn't quite sure what to say. they were mostly private school educated wealthy women lead at fancy restaurants, went to art openings and belonged to the clubs to these conversations always caught me offguard and i didn't have a clue how to respond to the question. rebecca opened gifts and we ooed and awed a up the at the linen e launcand abunch of aid. after lunch we ordered coffee and cappuccino and dazzled on the caramel drizzled sundays. another classmate wasn't touching her dessert. she looked over at me gobbling mind. i haven't had anything this tasty and not us. how do you stay so thin, she asked. jen answered for me. she lives in ethiopia, that's
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how. [laughter] i laughed politely that i didn't bother telling them i never visited ethiopia. [laughter] and then this last one is from when i was in haiti. and, you know, he obviously is in the backyard of [inaudible] so there were tons of well-intentioned people who came down to help out after the earthquake this is about some of those people who were there and myself as well. look at those people, a colleague said to me one day with a group of americans wearing shirts and khaki pants, cameras hanging from their neck and inexperience are chirping from their faces. if we want to get it right we need to stop in bridging every volunteer that can pick up a shovel and throw rocks on the back of a truck to come down
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here. if it were you and your family would you want amateurs just coming here determining how to respond? it's like giving people shotguns and sending them to afghanistan to fight the war. another emergency as various travel constraints. these restrictionscome at the cost of the plane ticket, the fact that the flights would end with them landing in the middle of a war zone combined to do what the humanitarians from just dropping in. haiti was a one-hour flight from miami and didn't require entrance visa that mad but needn ideal visa for people who want to come home and hope for a week. we see americans commemorating the trip they were currently on. patients knew the groups were there to clean up and presumably the groups themselves new white paper there so the brightly colored t-shirts were there to remind the do-gooders and their friends what great people they were. the tasks would proclaim he be released on the 2010, june the 16th of june 22. haiti project spring break 2010.
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most were missionary groups or international ordinary people, extraordinary purpose. angel missions relief for recovery birth. love tv missions keeping hope alive. the last but not least church of the brethren i am headed to haiti, where are you going? meanwhile the relief team had batching baseball caps while the scientologists favored identical orange ponchos. no matter what the members wore come every group's agenda was always the same. they cleared out rubble, said prayers except for the vegans can't think of pictures and left. if thei they're sure to another brazen enough, the conversations were. on one of my many flights back from new york -- excuse me, back to new york i was joined by firefighters. after the baggage carousel stalled for a third time, some of the firemen started to get restless. the group leader admonished them. i told you it's like a fourth world country. you have to be patient.
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standing to the left were several haitians who understood him perfectly well. a few weeks later i was on a field of mission and a lazy seaside town about three hours from port-au-prince. to vacationing teenagers that were staying at my hotel struck conversations with me. the best part of the trip they agreed that the orphanage and playing with some of the children. the orphanage was a tourist stop for the boys who sat on hammock's drinking prestige local beer. for them, going into giving out candy to kids hadn't felt normal like handing out palettes -- ending out palettes when you are at a petting zoo. it felt noble. while the boys felt they were doing good putting smiles on the faces of children and creating lost in bonds i imagined the kids they left behind who had to interact with and form attachments to the stampedes of foreigners that rolled through the orphanage's every day. really workers hated these folks. we called them a hug vacations. they are on spring break. the trip is for them, not
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patients. let's be clear they are the beneficiaries of this. they are here to have a story when they go home to feel good about themselves, complained one worker. seriously all you need is a good heart and a viable and you can get away with anything beats days. another friend told us about a group in cambodia. the tour operators you can pay to hand out food to poor people. we turned around to look at her. no she, protested to see our expressions. i'm serious. one afternoon i arrived at the clinic to check on the infant feeding program and saw a bunch of tourists wandering around shaking their heads in disbelief. they photographed everything especially children. whenever kids were spotted, the senate would take turns posing like them. they looked like a tour group at the grand canyon or disneyland. i was surprised there wasn't a bus waiting for them out of the camp. i turned to my driver. can we go back? he looked at me confused. you forgot something? though i just can't be here with this going on pointing at women
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holding 80s and taking photographs of them. he smiled. i wonder what he thought of the spectacle, of all the people myself included, stomping through his country "there to make a difference." to the rest of the haitians the veto i was probably another white face among the do-gooders that different from all of the other tourists. whenever i thought of these people i saw at the camps still i knew i recognized myself in them. perhaps my motive for coming here wasn't different from them. these groups want it to cd and touch it, wanted in other words to be part of an extraordinary experience. but there were a lot of people i worked with who updated their facebook status every two minutes in order to keep everyone they ever met a price of their latest activities in haiti. why should claude have been able to distinguish me from anyone else working here? that's it. [applause]
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>> we have some time now for a few questions. so please, wait for leslie to give you a microphone. >> you mentioned god only -- guard in the first story. what was the aspect and wasn't different from the other places? being in need of a guard i greg. >> you have guards everywhere. i mean -- yes. >> i have a follow-up question. may i ask? do you think that american graduates of high school would see the world in a different way if they had a chance to live overseas and work in the peace corps or some kind of service and stay put so that they would
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learn the nature of living down there? absolutely and your point about staying put and being there more than a week like people i just for the people going you want to make a time commitment and, you know, go because you really want to be there for a long time and bath just to see it. so, yes absolutely. and i think that would be the best thing for people who are considering going into this career being exposed to the world and living there for a while. absolutely. >> you have had these rapidfire extreme experiences. how do you go about the job of all of this? connect my my dad can speak to
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that better than i can having breakdowns when i come home. it was much difficult when i -- early on i wrote about that and i wrote a bit about how the difficulty of the transition but you get used to being a doctor in the seeing horrible things they're. you become a little detached. it's part of the job. i used to get involved in people's stories like i read about and you kind of can't if you're going to be effective. >> do people around the world
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have an idea about america but what is the europeans that you are working with think about what to say the bush years or 9/11 did you engage as an active american did you have to explain who we were and what we were about? >> i know that we were in a republican town. [laughter] they would be like america is amazing. that is so wonderful. and especially in, you know, with the president today were like it's so wonderful. but yes, my european colleagues had some disdain for americans. sometimes i found myself as a canadian. [laughter] and i remember i had my first suitcase -- i got this big suitcase and it was the american
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tourist or and i kind of took that off because i didn't really want to, you know, announce that i am an american because there is disdain for america out the there. i'm not in charge of the microphone. >> you write in your book about the contradiction between the industry being dependent on donors but get your clients are for these people that have no resources and you talk about how it is awfully hard to serve and please the donors because sometimes it means you can't do what you want to for the people that you are trying to help. >> this is sort of my accountability debate, so on the one hand, we need to be transparent and accountable to the donors that are getting
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enough money and that means that only you are writing checks to the red cross or whatever agency is, but large institutional donors, so the government getting multimillion dollar grants. do they have a project proposal that we have to implement? at the end user is the affected person and they don't really have a choice in terms of the programs. this is all preordained at the headquarters or wherever and, you know, it is a take it or leave it relationship with those people on the ground. so, you know, we come in and if it is a top-down approach that says okay, you know, we want to implement a school. we want to put water here but those projects have already been determined and it's like sort of after-the-fact that we ask people is this actually what you need to come and this is what you want. we don't ever work as though they could put us out of business. you know, we should. we should be thinking about
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while i want to work as though you have a choice between save the children shoving up, you would want to save the children to show up at that isn't how it works because the end user doesn't have a say. >> i'm sure there were times when you fortunately enjoyed good health, but should you become sick whether the fault of access to quality medical care attitude you're blind with the doctor you have to see be good enough for the medications that you might need? was this ever a problem? >> i've used the internet of what and a roomful of people to diagnose myself. i got a horrible rash and there was a doctor there and he was like it's something in your water. and i knew it wasn't my water
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because i just knew. i know this is something else. he had an internet connection and i didn't so i was like can i use your computer for a second. i went on the web and d. i took pictures and i sent them to bury the confirmed it. but no, i think there are plenty of doctors without borders who i've gone to and i've also gone to a lot of doctors in nairobi who were fine. and, you know, you ever need real something you get medivaced out of there. >> the times you question the value of your service and if so, how did you sustain your commitment and that's tim? >> sure. i think all of us at some point do because the change is really slow and incremental. and as i read from my story like in here, you are working on very
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little and you don't necessarily see the results immediately but you know that you are making a contribution in a muc and a mucr industry that is doing something right and that is what keeps you motivated and also that relationships thatherelationshim so that people like ahmed and being in the position to help if i could but yes the victories are far and few in between but those little rewards are what sustain you. what is your next posting and what are your future plans, dude you have any say in where you are going and which countries?
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>> right here i am in the new york and i'm going to go to geneva. i'm not planning on going overseas yet anytime soon. spec i would like to congratulate you. i.e. here that you work with united nations at the moment. is that correct? >> i do, yes. >> i used to work for the united nations. i spent eight years in indonesia and i spent three months in haiti. without cynicism and personal
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observations talk about countries that have crossed my heart as a delight. it's very interesting to mix important information with delightful personal observations [inaudible] [laughter] if not now, maybe in your future. congratulations. >> thank you. >> i think that you are to be commended for the effort you've put in. but more than a decade of experience, if you wave a magic wand and make something in that industry different what would that be? >> i think there would be two things. one of them i touched on with a
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question about putting affected people at the heart of the response and if i could do it -- if you could redo humanitarian aid from scratch, making effective people post local governments, local society, the ones who have fallen onto the response, and not a top-down western or northern, you know, response where we know the solutions and we are coming in to help you. so, i would do it that way. and we are getting better after that. and i think i that two recent natural disasters that happened in india and in the philippines, those are middle income countries where, you know, they haven't asked for international support which is great because the government, the local communities are owning up to the response. and by the way, they are always the first responders. your neighbors and friends and people around you, they are the ones who know what needs to be
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done if they know how to get it. and they are way more recently into the wee hour. like i can't deal with it is no electricity. they are the ones who are helping and so i think that would be if i could redo, it would be that. but also, one thing that we are also doing a lot more of talking a lot more about these days is investing in preparedness because he one of these events are cyclical so there are cyclical storms that, you know, caused a lot of suffering and higher death tolls and we can predict them, but we are reducing the risk before the emergency happens. it's a lot easier to fund raise for the school that has collapsed to build the school than it is to put reinforcement on the school if and when it does collapse. and so, i could ask you for $100
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to help the starving child because there has been a drought and now, you know, here but it's hard to see okay well, give me $100 before that happens so i can stop the climate change that may have been to that, you know, we are great at reacting. this industry is a very reactive industry and we perfected machinery. but preparing is something that we don't always do but we are starting to more now. yes? >> as someone who wants to be a humanitarian aid worker, but recommendations what you want to give to people who can make a real difference? >> i would say are you in college or are you in high school? >> [inaudible] >> well, okay. i would say learn a language and learn a language that is used in the developing world so, french and arabic would be good languages. i would say volunteer here and work on some domestic issues to see if you like social service
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into this kind of work because a lot of the issues that you wille see in places here and nonprofits will be similar issues that you will see in the international context as well. i would say get involved in world affairs, read books and articles, advocate with your congress people about issues that you are passionate about and i would say go overseas. as you said, for a period of time, volunteer for a while and both make a real investment in a time commitment there and yes, try to get an internship when you are in college over the summer or when you are in college or something related to take classes in the subject. i would say also, get a skill because motivation is wonderful and that is great but it takes more than the division to be in
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the field. for the water and sanitation engineer or if you are a social expert or you know the dimension of rebuilding or you are just a manager and you are managing multimillion dollar budgets and you have to deal with procurement and hr and a lot of just basic management issues. so learn a skill that will work in humanitarian context. >> we have one final question. >> [inaudible] >> [inaudible] you mentioned corruption in the camp and the worst situation do you see the best in people and
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they say if you live around the world and see how they treat women that you can see the problems that we have around the world why they are the way they are. >> i see some amazing women in the field, you know, that i work with that, i don't know that the corruption that i talked about in the book is endemic to places that don't treat women well. i think that has to do with just way more resources coming into a place when people have ever seen before and so, anyone anywhere would do that. if it is you and your family and you need something to survive and there are people who have things that you can't put on the
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system to get more, you are going to do it that we have seen it happen in katrina and i don't know so much about sandy. but in this particular case i talked about this later where what was happening in the camp is you have these cards and that gives you access to get food and people from either of the town or the sister camps they would try to get food as well but the ordeal that we put them through to get these we have to wait on line for ten hours and then for that 10% that we are giving out to people that may not be eligible i didn't have a problem
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with distributing it to people who were not the exact beneficiaries that we had thought that they would be. i was talking about it with a colleague of mine because i was having trouble, you know, deciding how to deal with it because they are all hand written if there are 25,000 people in hell are you going to determine who is who and what he said i was on welfare when i was in my 20s but i would get extra every month but i really needed that 100 so i would wait on line and i would call it a deal with it and then it didn't mean anything to me anymore. it's not like this is so much money. it's an extra sheet they can have on the market.
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>> just the logistics. this has been wonderful and you got a lot of people. we put you in the main library when you go in that door you will find we prompted it opens up a trip on it when you go in. if you find the buck here, help yourself. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] the story begins with this failed artist and architect who had applied to the academy of fine arts and was rejected and became a weapon of propaganda as he rose to power coming into the
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story begins in may of 1938 with the leaders visiting first italy and the beginning and around a walk with mussolini accompanying them and they visited to look at this wonderful sculpture. and after four or five days they wanted to visit following this introduction of alongside mussolini. they then made it to the museum and hitler felt like an artist walking among artists to see masterpieces that they had only seen in books were studied in galleries. he was fascinated with all of these things and reall it re


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