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Farming and mining are the beginnings of industrialization and economic growth. With economic growth come all the other social benefits we come to expect as modern ‘human rights.’

It may well be that the current culture at the mine doesn’t appear to be appropriate, but that doesn’t mean it has to remain this way. The change we desire requires leadership from all parties and takes more time than one would expect because of cultural training and expectations.

It’s not unlike when the Americans destabilized Iraq and expected democracy to suddenly take hold and flourish without doing the hard work of ‘farming’ the culture necessary for it to grow and take hold.

We mustn’t let these stories discourage us from a vision of respectful interaction and modern culture in these regions. People with families want the same things for themselves and their children regardless of their geography and it’s incumbent upon us to continue shining the light upon the darkness so that the path may be shown.

Thank you for your travels. Thank you for your writings and the vignette of these moments they’ve provided.

Be courageous and not afraid when you offer guidance in a better culture and model your behavior so as not to be ashamed in your own life.