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Before a water system was built by Seattle Nonprofit Water 1st, Mari walked four hours each day to collect water for her family from this small river. (Photo by Marla Smith-Nilson)
Ethiopia: before a water system was built by Seattle Nonprofit Water 1st, Mari walked four hours each day to collect water for her family from this small river. (Photo by Marla Smith-Nilson)

In our increasingly interconnected world, it is important to be informed of issues and events around the globe in order to better understand and engage with the people around us. If you were a foreign news correspondent, where would you like to be assigned? What story would you cover and why is this an important story to tell?

Imagine a long dirt road with several women and girls trudging along it, carrying heavy buckets on their heads. Their destination is a small, muddy pond, full of dirty, brownish water. They know it is a risk to drink this, but it is all they have to drink, so it’s not an option.

President Obama delivers a speech from the White House announcing an expanded military campaign against ISIS.In our increasingly interconnected world, it is important to be informed of issues and events around the globe in order to better understand and engage with the people around us. If you were a foreign news correspondent, where would you like to be assigned? What story would you cover and why is this an important story to tell?

Recently, tragedy struck in a small school just outside of London at the Bethnal Green Academy (BGA). Shockingly, three hard working students chose to leave their families behind and go join the ISIS terrorist group in Syria, they have not been the first to do so either.

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Cocoa beans in a cocoa pod. These are harvested to eventually make chocolate. (Photo via Agricultural Research Service)In our increasingly interconnected world, it is important to be informed of issues and events around the globe in order to better understand and engage with the people around us. If you were a foreign news correspondent, where would you like to be assigned? What story would you cover and why is this an important story to tell?

I am a serious chocoholic. In fact I’m a bit of a chocolate snob. From an early age I developed a unique taste for chocolate, unlike the ordinary, sugar-crazed child begging their parent for a chocolate bar to satisfy their sweet tooth.

I treated chocolate as one of life’s simple pleasures and grew to educate myself on everything there was to know about chocolate. I became not only a frequent consumer, but a chocolate connoisseur. I have tasted chocolate from all around the world, and found that some of the best (and worst) chocolate is made from cocoa beans grown in the farming sectors of Cote d’Ivoire.

Seattle hip hop artist Draze Maraire performs at 4p.m. on Saturday at the NW Folklife Festival. (Photo by Jama Abdirahman)
Seattle hip hop artist Draze Maraire performs at 4p.m. on Saturday at the NW Folklife Festival. (Photo by Jama Abdirahman)

When you say “Folklife Festival” a few things automatically come to mind: food, hippies, the Space Needle, and a long weekend. While all are still well represented in the annual Memorial Day event, it’s the showcasing of ethnic traditions that really give the festival its character.

Since 1972, the Folklife Festival has hosted performances by and vendors from diverse communities within the Pacific Northwest in an effort to increase mutual understanding of the various cultural heritages that make up the region.

This year, 13 different stages and venues will bring the traditions of dozens of countries around the world to life across four packed days. There are tons activities set to pack each day from 11am until 10pm. Here are some unlikely highlights that are worth a visit, even if you weren’t planning to spend all weekend lying on the Seattle Center lawns eating scones: