Ms. Lynch, I am very impressed with your piece and I wholeheartedly disagree with your detractors. I myself have traveled extensively in Madagascar, South Africa, and Mali and I am currently pursuing a Master's degree in International Development.
I can see from your article that, contrary to the comment made by "Asin", you are absolutely understanding of the beauty around you and displaying an incredible ability to self-reflect. I, too, have had the disturbing realization that I was born (in America) with unwarranted privilege. However, nestled in that realization is a concurrent realization that the life you had in America and the life you have to come back to in America is deserving of praise and not criticism (most of it, anyway). I would also like to point out to "Asin" that he or she does a pretty good job of being critical in criticizing you for being critical (mentioning only the "bad sides").
Furthermore, "nlcatter", this article mentions Bristol Beer, Monument Valley Park, and Poor Richard's Pizza and the longing the author has to return to those things (in Colorado Springs). How much more local can you get?
And, finally, "Rapidalfons" and "anan", if you took some time to do research of your own on more than one of Kristin's writings on her time spent in Cambodia (a Google search of her name yields her blog: http://kristinlynch.blogspot.com/ which contains articles she has written for the Phnom Pen Post: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/) you would find that she has written many accounts of her very meaningful interactions with local people and of the beauty she has found there.
This short piece was meant simply to highlight the relative advantages to an individual's chances of longer life expectancy, lower rates of poverty, and not stepping on a land mine at the ripe old age of five bestowed undeservedly upon birth in America. I find Ms. Lynch's conclusions to be both humble and honest.
I have found that more often than not Americans are wont to believe that standards of living in foreign countries are better than they in fact are. I believe this alleviates guilt and fuels outcries to spend less Federal dollars in foreign aid. I commend Ms. Lynch for telling the truth about how difficult it is for people who are no better or worse than us to live a healthy and safe life in other parts of the world.
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