Monday, March 9, 2015

YOU'RE TEARING ME APART!*

*college; sunshine; spring break; EVERYTHING IN THIS WORLD



First official day of Spring Break as a senior. The sun is shining here in Seattle. THE MOUNTAIN IS OUT. People are happy.

What am I doing at 6:20? TRYING TO WRITE A TEN-PAGE RESEARCH PAPER FOR MY SENIOR THESIS IN CROSS-CULTURAL STUDIES.

I have been trying to write this since last night. I have about three sentences. And, some super-profesh looking subheaders, guys. Never forget the subheaders. \

I took a short break for sleep (actually like 8 hours---SPRING BREAK! GOING WILD!). And then went to work. But, otherwise, I have been sitting for five or so hours. Staring at the sunshine and unable to join in the happiness that is all around me.

Even now, I am writing this post. NOT the first post I had planned for my return (I have long-waiting post almost ready). But, nonetheless, procrastination is all I have to offer my life.

Cry for me, Argentina.








P.S. I'm ALL caught up on random celebrities being interviewed on talk shows that have clips on YouTube. Please do ask for recommendations.

Also, I can confirm that there is such a thing as TOO much iced Passion Tea. 

Also, also, I am super well-informed about a bunch of random actors' upcoming projects as posted on IMDb.

Which raises the point: Why does every hate Sam Worthington? That guy is awesome. Stop the hate.

Alright. I really am gonna go write this paper now. I could have finished it last night if I didn't have a literal inability to do anything without an immediately looming deadline.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Laggies (2014): Oh, yeah, Seattle.




So, my laptop is broken, and this is being written from a Kindle (senior year of college is hard with a broken laptop), but I simply had to urge everyone to go watch Laggies.

Guys. It was filmed in glorious Washington. My beloved home is all over it. A girl I know is an extra in it. Keira Knightley's character is named Megan (cough cough my real name cough cough). SAM ROCKWELL is in it!

Go see it. It's not necessarily a life-changing great film--unless it is. I mean, there is an insanely talented cast (Chloe Grace Moretz, queen of my heart) and crew, and evergreen trees everywhere. What more could you want?!

I must confess there is a horrible, horrible, greatly disappointing aspect of the film. I mean, I hate to even remind myself of this, but...

SAM ROCKWELL DOES NOT DANCE IN THIS FILM.

I don't understand how that's possible. It must have been accidentally cut. Maybe, there was a post-credits scene that I should have waited for?! I just don't even know anymore.

But, despite this grievous error, there is so much to love in this charming, fun movie. No rain though, which was a little odd. And, Sam's character carried an umbrella around which was super funny. But, whatevs.

Go chill and  watch this movie and then move to Seattle and feel better about life, because trees.

That is all.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

The African Narrative.

In recent days, you have probably heard about the Ebola virus in West Africa.

It has finally become newsworthy; although, the disease has been in Guinea since February. It has not suddenly gotten worse, it has just finally become "interesting" enough to spread awareness on.  It has also exposed, once again, the very disturbing narrative that is often thrust upon Africa--Sub-Saharan Africa in particular.

Before I talk about that, I want to give a bit of a back story. West Africa is a very important place in my life. It is a place where I have spent a lot of time. Sierra Leone, in particular, I consider to be my adopted home--and where I plan on living and working eventually. I have strong connections with many people in Sierra Leone, and deeply love its culture.

This is why I am so grieved to see the same story of Africa again and again.


Sometimes, when I give presentations on Sierra Leone, I will begin with this or a photo like this, and ask for people's responses. Common reactions are sick, poor, sad, pain, and helpless.

And, I understand those responses. They are natural; they are usually well-intentioned and kind-hearted. Before I ever went to Sierra Leone, as a well-intentioned, kind-hearted fourteen year old, I thought the same thing. Plus, I had world-changing plans to save every poor, starving child by my knowledgeable self.

What I did not consider, before I stepped off the plane and my world view was changed irrevocably forever, was that I was not the superior being coming to rescue some living statistics.

That is the common narrative thrust on Africa: a continent full of living (but mostly dying) statistics. Oh, they have faces--sad, starving faces to use at fundraisers to try and save some of these statistics.

But, here's the thing. That is NOT Africa's narrative. The people of Sierra Leone are not defined by their poverty or their circumstances (and they do not all have the same circumstances either).

They are defined as human beings. People with the same diverse emotions, personalities, abilities, perspectives--with every quality that makes up a person.

The African narrative is made up of every life and every story that every person chooses for their own person.

But, that is not easily definable. It also calls into question why so many people could allow so many other people to live in extreme poverty; often lacking basic human rights like clean water, healthy food, education, and medical care.

This is why the current narrative of the Ebola epidemic so disturbs me. The disease has been spreading in West Africa for months. Steadily, hundreds of people have been dying, yet there was very little awareness or coverage. Suddenly, the coverage is here, but the story has often focused on how it could easily reach Europe or America. I have been hearing and seeing the same refrain: "It's just a plane trip away!"

I want to say, but you are also just a plane trip away from an entire continent of fellow humans.

And, if I were putting it in completely mercenary terms, ignoring Africa doesn't just "hurt" Africa. Ignoring Africa is ignoring millions of strong, resilient people with creativity, ingenuity, and ideas that benefit the whole world.

It disturbs me that people discount this emergency because it is "typical" or "normal" for people to die in Africa. It disturbs me that millions of diverse people are all painted with the same faceless statistics. It disturbs me that people can give no dignity, respect, or empathy to an entire continent of people.

I write these things, neither as the spokesperson for Africa (I am in no way setting myself up as the only perspective), nor as a perfect, selfless human being. I wrote about my previous well-intentioned ignorance. For many people, I know that is the same way.

But, we cannot stay ignorant.

The people of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and all of Africa deserve our empathy and respect--not because they are "poor and sick," but because they are people.






Get involved:

President Koroma of Sierra Leone has declared August 4th to be National Stay-At-Home Day--dedicated to education, prayer, and reflection. If you can, set aside a moment for prayer or reflection.

Donate to immediate disaster relief:

Samaritan's Purse

Red Cross

Mariatu's Hope (They also provide excellent, long-term hygiene education that helps to prevent things like this from happening.)

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