November 8, 2007
Books: A compassionate journey of deafness in Africa
(Page 2 - Previous Page)It would be great if all students, after finishing college, could spend one year doing development work in the United States or abroad, Swiller advised, because it "forces you to step outside of your comfort zone." Although he was tempted to give the villagers money and supplies they needed, he said "if you give the people things, they become dependent on you and you totally see it. It's awful." You can see it in any refugee camp, he added.
Swiller expressed frustrations on witnessing so many avoidable deaths, but said there must be a long-term solution, not a quick fix. He now lives in Cold Spring, N.Y., works as a social worker in a Brooklyn hospice center and plans to write a nonfiction book about his experiences there. Although he can hear much better now, he misses the quiet and being alone with his thoughts.
"With all the noise in this world, compassion can get lost," he said.
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