Looking at Beggars

Quick link: Responding to Beggars

Today I’m writing at A Life Overseas about how I’m learning to respond to beggars. I resist calling them ‘beggars’ because of course they have names, but for the sake of the blog post, that’s the word.

There are a lot of beggars in Djibouti and with the new stoplights (that’s right, Djibouti recently got stoplights), street corner begging has increased. By street corner begging, I mean when you stop at a red light (that’s also right, in Djibouti most drivers stop at red lights) and kids swarm the car.

There are other places where people beg and there are beggars who come to our door. I want to talk about two kinds of interactions – the ones on the street corner and the ones at the front door.

I have to confess that I haven’t always responded well to street corner beggars. I used to ignore them. Stare straight ahead. Continue the conversation with the passenger. Pretend there isn’t a young girl holding a baby or a boy with a pouty look tapping his fingers against his lips for ‘thirsty.’

Click here to read the rest of the piece and join the conversation (offer me some suggestions?!) Responding to Beggars

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