The Concoction

An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

Groove section
Currently praising...
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
      Similar artists
      • African Music Encyclopedia
      • NPR's World Music feed
      • Supporting

      • Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
      • Books
        This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Fikirte's travels. Make your own badge here.
        Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
        Monday, March 20, 2006
        Extreme weekend: Between Parramore and Bay Hill

        It was an extreme weekend by all measures. Saturday, I was shooting a fundraising film in the ghetto of ghettos of Orlando. On Sunday, I was watching Tiger Woods elegantly working the Bay Hill golf course (it does not matter if he lost. He was still the most elegant on the field). Parramore and Bay Hill are the really extreme places of Orlando.

        The extremity of Parramore’s destitution and Bay Hill’s affluence is too much to reconcile in my head. The children of Parramore were very happy to hang out with us as we were stammering and blushing in front of the camera to try and tell their stories. The community center is the main hang out for kids and their families. At least they can use the play ground for free and be on our camera before going to their overly crowded homes with windows patched up with plywood.

        Darryl is a six year old, who looks like a malnourished three year old. He is, even without a measurement, obviously under weight. I had to help him with spelling (for the film), and it was so sad to see that he could not write his last name let alone other words. He apparently goes to one of the states failing schools, and he does not get much help at home either. Parramore is full of kids in a similar situation, and it is truly difficulty to imagine that that part of town is in the US.

        Our crew had to pack up camera equipment back in the car three times looking for a safer place to shoot the film. We jokingly, but still nervously were saying “Let us get out of here before the uzi comes out”. In comparison, at Bay Hill there were not even cell phones in site. The invitation clearly said “No cell phones, cameras, videos, radios, walkie-takies…” let alone a harmful instrument. And people abided by that. What a difference!

        Although the whole golf tournament was for charity, I wonder how many people there knew where Parramore is and the poverty, drug, crime, prostitution, illiteracy it represents. If only health care were not run as charity in the US, imagine what $9.7 million raised at the Bay Hill Invitational this year could have done for the Darryls of Parramore. Unfortunately, while I am eyeing that amount of money wishing it was for charity organizations like mine who work in Parramore, there is a grand plan being cooked up for the area. So my struggle with grand development plans follows me from Ethiopia to the US via Europe. Some things never change.
        posted by Fikirte @ 6:05 PM   Digg!
        • name<="c114346680711716748" id="c114346680711716748">

          At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

          This article reminds me of Hurrican Katrina. After watching the aftermath of the flooding, I remember asking my husband, Is it in Haiti? It was like one of the destitute corners in the Third World, not that of the Mighty America.

          Too big a gap to fill in!
          America needs to revise its home affair policy instead of "trying" to solve the problem of others!!

        Post a Comment
        << Home
        The face of VAW

        Kamilat - victim of acid burning The face of VAW - violence against women. It should and can be stopped with enough commitment. Helping one woman at a time is a start.
        Go to the blog
      • VAW - Do something!
      • Also blogging at
        Feeds, links and such
        Previously on The Concoction...
        News on Africa
        Blogs on Africa
        On development
        Western development agencies
        Template by

        Free Blogger Templates