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"...I saw plenty of folks at the orphanage who brought goods and distributed them. The excitement was in the giving and revealing of the gifts: We’re giving you plastic recreation balls! We’re providing a bag of rice a month to your kitchen! The joy didn’t seem to be in the knowing of one another. The relationship was expected to be one directional: I give and you accept. Then one walks away and back to a very difficult daily life while the other goes to a fancy hotel and shovels in a Lobster special at the restaurant downstairs as a reward for doing something “good”.
I didn’t want to be that person..."

In this essay, I describe a mistake I made during my trip to Liberia, one that I wish I could take back, but one that I have since learned from in spades as I try to dismantle the myriad of invisible privileges that I as a western woman bring.