It was 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon in Nashville, Tennessee, but I felt as if I had been transplanted into a third world country, perhaps one that I have posted photos of in the past. The difference, I was in America and more notably, my backyard to some extent:
He stayed in bed, too sick and uncomfortable to get up and talked about how he came to Nashville 32 years ago for his education.
"I have a hernia, two in fact," he said calmly while patting on his abdomen. He spoke clearly as if he was well educated, but noted that life slowly fell apart for him with the combination of drugs, relationships and alcohol.
The small hut he was sleeping in belonged to a friend who was asleep in the next room. "He's asleep in the other room, he let me sleep here," he stated.
My friends from the Nashville Indian Christian Fellowship fed him. He enjoyed the meal as he appeared to have not eaten in at least a day or longer.
The hut was made of discarded pallets, siding from a box truck, old gas station signs, carpet and tarps. No electricity or running water, just makeshift shelter.
The structure sat along a river in what looked to be a floodplain in an area heavily populated by Somalians and Hispanics, neither speaking the same language, but living in peace in nearby camps separated by a creek flowing into the same river.