Posted by: mhirdyounger | March 9, 2012

Going, going, Ghana!

The countdown can finally end. No, I don’t mean for my departure to Ghana. I mean the countdown for finally starting my own blog! Welcome to my first ever blog and my first ever blog post!

I want to kick-off by introducing the theme of the blog: unfinished stories. This has been inspired by Chimamanda Adichie’s TedTalk The Danger of a Single Story. For me, this TedTalk is extremely thought provoking and has led me to question how I think of and represent myself and others, the complexities of who we are and the danger of flattening our identities to one single idea, concept or story.

The danger in a single story is one of creating “stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story, become the only story.” When speaking about Africa, the single story, which has become the only story, of Africa is one of children with flies in the eyes and protruding bellies, of famine, of individual evil people that cause civil wars (such as the story of Kony that is blowing up the internet right now).  But this is not the only story of Africa. Stories, words and images have power, they have shaped our beliefs, our perceptions, our knowledge and our truth.

In my blog, I hope to portray a diversity of stories. Stories of myself, my experience, the people I meet, of the complexities of the poverty I see and of the development work that coexists with it.  Hopefully all the while recognizing that each post will just be a thread of a more full story.

As Adichie says: “Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

So without further ado, I invite and strongly encourage you to watch Adichie’s TedTalk yourself.

Adichie – The Danger of A Single Story

More on the blog theme can be found under “What’s in A Name?”


  1. So excited that you are settled and have started this blog! Can’t wait to see your stories unfold 🙂

  2. Hi Miriam! Thanks for forwarding the link to your blog. I’m looking forward to following and reading your stories! Please note that I have very high expectations for this blog. No pressure though 😉 haha
    Hope everything is well with you. -JP

  3. Lovely 🙂 Do you have a way for people to subscribe?

  4. I am looking forward to following your stories from Ghana, and I will watch the TED Talk you refer to later tonight (thanks for the tip). I love stories. Your stories are just beginning…Sherry

  5. I love the immediacy of your blog. You are right about hearing sounds in a new place for the first time and then becoming deaf to them as you acclimatize to this new environment. I look forward to following your blog. You can keep up with my blog on kindness at

  6. MIRIAM!! Great to hear your voice last night! We weathered the monster storm very well – did not lose power – and only a couple days off school. New York and area was a different story though – and I hope Afi and family are alright. Look forward to seeing you soon, and lots of love from all of us –
    Prakash, Jos, Leela and Mins

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