Monday, February 7, 2011

To Stories from Mogadishu and responses from Vermont

We have been enriched by a conversation with new friends in Africa and one of the topics has been snow. They live at the equator and have an idea of snow that has charmed us here and made us laugh. So this video is for them to give them a sense of snow.

If you haven't heard it yet check out "The story" and Messages from Mogadishu.  This is citizen journalism at its best.  Our response back via this lighthearted video may seem trivial in light of the difficulties there. How can we laugh or complain about the snow when their lives are so constrained and difficult? I don't know how to balance these things, I just know that all I can offer are authentic responses and images of my life.  Sometimes "help" comes as humor, sometimes as questions and always listening.

The reporter, a young man called Abdi, encouraged by Dick Gordon from the radio program "The Story", has gained a voice, an audience, and in our case friends and supporters. This affection and concern has spread and includes his family spread far and wide who worry for him and help him. Abdi, through Dick Gordon and Paul Salopek, an award-winning journalist from Chicago, has begun a conversation with our family, friends and a community of public radio listeners, that makes the far-flung country of Somalia much more pressing and real. Everyday we try to cast a net of safety and connectedness over him. This type of reporting is amazing and life-changing.

Listen. If you want to support The Story or Abdi please do.




Abdi in Mogadishu said...

Dear Sharon and Gib,

It was marvelous to see that you are coping with those heaps of snow.
There is completely a big difference between Somalia and what I see on
the clip.A whole snow world with you hooded jackets and big flat boots
to avoid sinking in the snow. I think I should be trained many days
before walking on snow like that. I would sink in it. I see snow
covered all over your house, your soccer football every where. This
is the first time I saw a clip like these with a real people I know in
a snow world. Believe me dear friends, when we see you in that
condition, we would think that you are in paradise. All Somalis think
so. I always dream of that snowy land, I was now feeling comfortable
watching the enormous snowing and cold climate. I can guess that you
hate snowy climate, because this is too much snow and you were in this
conditions for whole of your life, it needs a whole government to plow
it. I can also see why it disturbed when you were traveling. That is
why western people sing a song like ‘Sun shine!” and Somalia we sing
“Rain and cloudy cold weather”. . Actually, I was wondering western
songs which contain words such as "sun shine" to show how beautiful
the day is! Clear day and cloudy day means different for us, cloudy
day is the day we remember what we forgot in the sunny days. I had
been here in Mogadishu baked in the sun, daily sun. I am in the
hottest months in the year. At night, if I open all the windows and
doors I am still burning at night with sweating all over my body. It
is really discomfort. In the day when I try to walk, I will be
dehydrated and will be needing to much iced water to drink, there are
people selling cold water to make money. so walking on these kind of
snow makes me "feel cool". In your side, I know you say “feel warm”
we wonder when you say "feel warm" for showing comfort. Actually, it
shows me that we have different challenges. Thank God for giving you
such a nice country with such a nice climate. I always buy ice to
cool with the water I drink. I wish I had been there to see how it
feels to hate snow. I am burning here. We can’t walk in the sun for
little bit, it is terribly hot.

I really liked the way you created the clip and dedicated it to me,
thanks a million to you and Gib. I will send links to the story and
Paul. I hope they will be happy to watch it.
Yes, it was easier for me to watch, I watched it at the internet café.
Thanks a million for doing this. I am also glad that you’re a back in
Vermont. I liked your Dog, and also good to know its name when you
said it.

Cori Princell said...

Hi Sharon,

I'm really touched by how much you care for Abdi - thank you for sharing this link. I just spoke with Abdi on Friday for another series of stories - I'm really amazed by his courage. And I submitted to two journalism awards on his behalf early this year - we'll see! It would be wonderful for him to get some recognition.

Best wishes,

Cori Princell
The Story with Dick Gordon
American Public Media & North Carolina Public Radio
919 445 9166 c. 919 968 6172
Skype: coriprincell
Follow us on Twitter! @thestorywithdg

North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Jane Flink said...

Sharon:  When I think of your part of the country, I think of Clysdale horses pulling a sleigh past nice old houses with the lights on big front porches and a clean blanket of new snow. I do not think of Missouri like that.  I am attaching a piece I wrote last night for your entertainment.  Jen had to cancel another show the following Sunday, and has sworn never, ever again to schedule a major show in January or February.  One never knows what Missouri will do weatherwise.  More snow scheduled tomorrow but, as we know all too well, it may decide to detour south and miss us entirely. I hope your stay in Missouri was pleasant, in spite of the glitches, and your journey home was easy and as comfortable as can be -- I so enjoyed your opening with nice people and Gay's wonderful work and yourself, looking most elegant.   Love from Jane