1 September 2014
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Today in microfashion…

(Juba, South Sudan)

1 September 2014
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He told me he wanted to be a “soccer star,” but wouldn’t say much else, probably because his teammates were hovering around him. But later on, when I asked the coach who the strongest player was, he pointed out this boy. “We made him captain,” the coach explained, “Because he takes it the most seriously. If we lose, he won’t talk for the rest of the day. He always shows up early to practice. If we’re not around, he organizes the team and has them ready when we arrive. And if anyone loses their temper during the game, he’ll reprimand them and tell them to just focus on winning.”

(Juba, South Sudan)

1 September 2014
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"Our team is called the Young Boys. We grew up in this neighborhood, so we wanted to give the local kids something to do after school. We bought them balls and shoes with our own money, and for game days, we go around and beg local churches for a place to play. We want to keep them very busy so they don’t have time for bad things. We don’t want to see anyone on our team wandering the streets. We practice every other day. The girls have their practice on our days off."

(Juba, South Sudan)

31 August 2014
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This may be the happiest I’ve ever been to write a post. Last year, as many of you probably remember, we held a crowdfunding campaign to help a family with adoption fees. The Watkins family had already adopted an eight year old daughter from Ethiopia. They were so happy with their new family, they decided to adopt a ten year old boy named Rabuma, who they had discovered in an orphanage. They knew that Rabuma was destined to be their new son, but were heartbroken because they didn’t have the money to bring him home yet. 4,000 of you donated to help make this family a reality. Over the past year, the Watkins have been sending me periodic updates, but I didn’t want to share them because I didn’t want to jeopardize the process. But everything just finalized. By a beautiful coincidence, the Watkins happened to pick up Rabuma while I was in Africa. So between destinations, I took a two hour detour to Ethiopia to photograph the occasion. It was such an honor for me to be present at the birth of this new family. The love that had already developed between them just filled the room.

30 August 2014
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"I want to be a nurse."

(Jinja, Uganda)

30 August 2014
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"I row 16 kilometers per day. A few weeks ago, I was in Germany for the Junior World Championships. My goal is to make the Olympics one day. But it can be tough to compete with the European countries. We don’t have the gym equipment that they have. And they practice with actual racing boats. We only get to use the racing boats during the race."

(Kampala, Uganda)

30 August 2014
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"What’s the most important thing your mother has taught you?"
“If you buy food, you should always eat it with someone else.”

(Kampala, Uganda)

30 August 2014
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"I want to be an engineer."
"What advice would you give other engineers?"
"If you build a house that collapses, you’re going to get arrested. So you need to keep using the pendulum to make sure that everything is straight. Also, your cement mix has to be strong. You also need to be careful with the builders that you hire, or they will steal the cement from you.”
"What sort of building would you build?"
"A factory that makes new books, so that everyone can have new books for school. All of my books are old and have writing in them."

(Entebbe, Uganda)

30 August 2014
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"I’ve sold fish in the market for the last thirty years, because I never had the chance to go to university. Recently my daughter graduated from Makerere, which is one of the best schools in the country. When I walked through the gates to attend her graduation, I felt so happy, because I never thought I’d see the inside of a university."

(Kampala, Uganda)

29 August 2014
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"Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?"
"It’s my secret."

(Kampala, Uganda)

29 August 2014
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"I spent four years studying to get a degree in law, and I’ve spent almost as long trying to find a job. Here, unless you’re the family of someone in government, nobody will hire you. I sold my last cow, and now my money is almost completely gone. I’m getting evicted so I’ll have no choice but to go back to the village with my grandparents. At least we have farms there. After all this time in school, I’ve almost forgotten how to dig.” 

(Kampala, Uganda)

29 August 2014
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"I have to work thirteen hours a day, so I don’t get to see her very much. But I’m getting older. So I’m afraid if I don’t work all I can now, there might be a time that I can’t support my family anymore."

(Kampala, Uganda)

"Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?"
"One day, I was sent home from my final exams because my mother had not been able to pay the registration fees. On the way home, a man came up to me and asked what was wrong. ‘Nothing,’ I told him. He asked me again. So I told him that I’d been sent home from school. He then gave me the money I needed to take my exams. I’d never seen him before, and I’ve never seen him again."

(Entebbe, Uganda)

29 August 2014
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"Some old man suggested we climb a tree. We thought he was crazy, but we found two fruits up there. One was really big, and the other was small. So we ate the big one right away, just in case anyone in the village asked us to share."

(Jinja, Uganda)

29 August 2014
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"What’s the most important thing your dad has ever taught you?"
"If someone hurts your feelings, don’t worry, because that person will also have a turn to get their feelings hurt. And also, you should never undermine people or make them feel unimportant. And also, if you drop out of school, he won’t deal with you anymore."

(Kampala, Uganda

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