Saturday, August 9, 2008

Chronically Vulnerable

Right now, I am eating a piece of amazing bread. It's the kind of bread that tastes like someone is taking care of you somewhere...

My friend Elisa made this bread -- sent it home with me after a wonderful night of discussion and soup. Elisa works for Care International. She travels all over the world as an activist. I've written about her before -- but I've never tasted her bread.

I had her in mind when I set off to write this morning.
First I read about the Russian bombings on the front page, then I went on to begin my search.
Somehow, it seems, the story always relates.

"The escalation risked igniting a renewed and sustained conflict in the Caucasus region, an important conduit for the flow of oil from the Caspian Sea to world markets and an area where conflict has flared for years along Russia’s borders, most recently in Chechnya."

The truth is, I asked Elisa what I could possibly give her in response for the night, the meal, the conversation -- sangria and laughter and polenta.

"I want a blog in my honor." She was teasing, of course.
This blog is in honor of her -- of course.

Elisa and I, we are always searching for the core of things -- talking about what is really at stake, and where we can look for hope and when we can look for hope and whether or not there is ever hope for us.

But at some point, I suppose, everything is connected. It just is. War breaks out around oil. War breaks out other places too. The war in Georgia could further effect the instability of the current oil market -- 1,500 people died last night.

The price of oil -- the price of food -- there are crisis' in the world. There always are.

"People blame locusts, drought and high food prices for the crisis that affected more than 3 million people in Niger in 2005," says Vanessa Rubin, Africa Hunger Advisor for CARE International UK, and author of a briefing paper that accompanies the report. "But these were just triggers. The real cause of the problem was that people there are chronically vulnerable. Two years later, they still are."

Thank you for the bread, my sweet friend.

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