I’m in Ethiopia with my crew, filming an upcoming hour-long special called “Ethiopia, Guatemala, Hunger, and Hope” — and I’ve been grateful for the chance to be able to incorporate scenes I’ve always wanted to share. For example, when poverty drives people from the countryside into a big city, they often end up living in ravines that the city considers unsafe. The desperate don’t have the luxury of living a bus ride away from their employment — that would eat up a big chunk of their meager income. So, they inhabit shantytowns in unsafe ravines. One violent rainstorm or mudslide, and their world collapses.
Here in Addis Ababa, I’ve been reflecting on the eerie uniformity that the look of poverty has throughout the world. Culture is stripped away, and it’s just bodies in tattered clothing under corrugated tin. Travel as a political act helps a privileged person be thoughtful — and appreciate.