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Humans Of Planet Earth

In August, the Humans of New York team began a 50 day trip around the world to photograph the people and share their stories. Here is just a small sample of the beauty our world...

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Mexico City, Mexico

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"We weren't expecting it. We were expecting him to be a little chubby, or have big ears, or be a little funny looking, but we weren't expecting him to have Down syndrome. They had been telling us that all the tests were normal. We were devastated at first, but we decided to take the bull by the horns. And it actually brought us closer together. We'd been growing a little apart before he was born, but he gave us a common goal to focus on. We spent two months at the hospital together when he got pneumonia. And he's turned out to be a blessing. There's no evil in him. He's either happy, or sad, or mad, but he never conceals and always expresses just how he feels."

Saigon, Vietnam

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"After my son was born, there was a period of several months when I couldn't find a job. I looked everywhere. My mind was a mess. I felt angry toward everything. The lowest point was when my son got diagnosed with malnutrition. I hated myself."

Dharamshala, India

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"I have a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. Now I want to learn as many languages as possible so I can teach as many people as possible."

"What do you think is the most important thing that people can learn from Buddhism?"

"Compassion. Everyone suffers and everyone needs happiness."

Bila Tserkva, Ukraine

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"We went to war when we were 18."

"What's your strongest memory from the war?"

"My unit was being transported by train when German planes began to attack us. We jumped out and started to run across a field. I had to carry my wounded friend on my shoulders, so I was moving pretty slow. One of the planes circled around, and dropped a bomb right near me. I felt something hit me in the back and I got thrown to the ground. I thought for sure I was hit, but I couldn't see any blood. When I finally got to some cover, I pulled my backpack off my back, and saw that it had a giant hole in it. When I opened it up, I discovered that a piece of shrapnel had torn through everything and lodged itself in the leather sole of my boot."

Juba, South Sudan

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I found her crushing up rocks and loading them onto the back of a truck, for which she got paid just a few dollars a day. But she also told me she was enrolled in school, and had high ambitions. "Maybe I'll be President," she said, laughing.

"What would you do if you were?" I asked.

"I'd take all the children off the street, bring them somewhere, and teach them," she said. Afterwards, she wrote down her name and email, so I could send her the picture.

Her name was 'Innocent Gift.'

Nairobi, Kenya

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"When they don't think I'm watching, they do the funniest things. They are always dancing together. I found them in the kitchen yesterday, pretending to cook."

"What's your greatest worry as a parent?"

"Their health. They're always getting sick from the cold and the dust. Sometimes the dust gets so bad, they lose their voices."

Naivasha, Kenya

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"Her father and brother died in the same month. She developed a very bad problem in her head after that. For months, she would barely move. I was so worried about her that I took her to hospitals, and nothing worked. It was the hardest time of my life. But now she is better. She's the greatest wife. Every time I come home, she makes me tea and thanks me for working all day."

"How did she fix her sadness?"

"None of the hospitals could help. But we just kept praying together."

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

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"I'm studying law. My dream is to be a judge one day. Too many people in this country are only in prison because they were too poor to defend themselves. When I'm a judge, I'll look only at the facts, and not at the person."

Shaqlawa, Iraq

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“My parents were captured when I was sixteen. They both died in prison.”

“What do you remember about the day they were taken?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t think I can do this. Can we stop?”

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