Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Portrait #86: An Ethiopian working in Lebanon

A house in the mountains overlooking the sea - gorgeous interior, exterior, breathtaking view: steppe, baby cedar trees, olive trees... shrub and dry.

As we walk through the mountains together walking the dog, I try to picture her view of the world. She arrives on a flight from Addis Adaba in the middle of the night and is taken to this house: 12+ rooms, not counting bathrooms. It will be her job to keep this clean and to cook for the family, and to do their laundry.

Then she looks out the front balcony window and sees the city laid out before her and the sea beyond. She wanders up the path and discovers that behind the house are some standy footpaths in the hills. Look up to the mountains and down to sparkling blue sea.

But she rarely leaves the house. There's no time and no excuse to go for a walk.

She misses home - her family is there. But it's not this nice, even if life is easier. There is much less work for her to do there. She can't get paid well there. How conflicted she must feel.

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