Jonathan Homer

Jonathan Homer (Undugu Society): Jonathan is a native of Idaho and a graduate of Utah State University where he studied history and international economics. While at Utah State University, Jonathan volunteered for an international service organization that focused on humanitarian work in Mexico and South America. Jonathan also took a two-year break from his undergraduate studies to perform service in the islands of Micronesia, which introduced him to the importance of humanitarian work and international law. After his undergraduate studies, Jonathan interned at the US Department of State's Bureau of African Affairs and worked for US Senator Mike Crapo. At the time of his fellowship, Jonathan was a student at George Washington University Law School with an interest in international human rights law. After his fellowship, Jonathan wrote: "This summer allowed me to get in touch with a major part of humanity: the disempowered and weak. There is something personally empowering that comes from witnessing such suffering. I am very grateful to have had this experience."



what time is it where you come from?

03 Aug

I was with some street kids the other day when a 13 year old boy asked me what time it was where I come from. The boy had a boastful smile, spoke broken English, and wore a pair of silver rimmed glasses with no lenses. I looked at my watch and subtracted seven hours to find that it was three AM in Washington, D.C. He then proudly said to me, “do you know that in London it is six o’clock?” He laughed before I could respond.

He then asked where I was from. “America,” I said. His questions continued, “Do you know Bush?” I decided to play along and told him that yes, I did know Bush. “Oh, he a big man,” he told me while flexing his arms and imitating what he saw as the President of the United States. I asked him if he knew Kibaki, the President of Kenya. He played along also and said that yes, he did know Kibaki. Then, he flexed his muscles again and said, “He my President.” It made me laugh.

Kids are kids even if they live on the streets. Kids want to have fun. Kids want to laugh. Kids want to tease the very-out-of-place American man in the middle of the slum. It’s harder for kids living on the streets to laugh, but this kid did it and he made me laugh, too.

When I first got to the slums, it was hard to look past the tragedies to see kids having fun. Now, I see it. Streets make kids grow up fast, but they don’t kill their need for laughter.

Posted By Jonathan Homer

Posted Aug 3rd, 2007