Sunday, October 29, 2006

Daylight Savings Time

I am ambivalent towards Sundays. While they readily lend themselves to activities like laying around, eating oreos and taking care of laundry and grocery shopping, they also hold the ominous quality of being the day before Monday. However, if there is ever a Sunday to be savored, it is surely the one in which you awaken and remember that the clocks moved back an hour. An extra hour of life. What a wonderful way to start the day. Maybe I won't even wear black to work tomorrow.

I found out this week that I will be returning to Uganda in January - this time to co-lead the Global Kimeeza sponsored by Global Youth Partnership for Africa in Kampala, Uganda. Life is good.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The character flaw of shoppers

"What we collectively choose to buy, or not to buy, can change the course of life and history on this planet."

Some time last year, during a shameful shopping binge, I decided to use my GAP credit card. When the salesperson handed me my receipt, it showed that my last purchase on the GAP card had been on September 12, 2001. The day after 9/11 and I was shopping at GAP. I wanted to go home and shower with Clorox, I felt so crappy about my past choices and behavior. But wasn't it me that always joked about how I would "singlehandedly keep the American economy going strong"? While I still feel my penchant for shopping and acquiring material goods is a serious character flaw, it seems that others have found a positive spin.

Bono and Bobby Shriver got together to start (PRODUCT) RED, a group that markets products to shopaholics in the first world, so that we can continue our rampant consumerism and at the same time wipe out AIDS in Africa. I'm not complaining - I think it's a fantastic idea, and the campaign has already raised millions to get medicines and testing to those that need it the most. 70% of cases of HIV/AIDS are in Africa. That's a crime. So click on the icon above and learn more - GAP has an especially cool line with some shirts made from 100% organic cotton grown in Africa. I can guarantee I'll be using my GAP card to pick up some new stuff.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

All things Uganda...

I've spent the past few days with some close friends from the Uganda trip. We watched videos and drank wine, spent twelve hours at a conference here in DC on the peace process in Northern Uganda, watched the DC premier of Uganda Rising and went to see The Last King of Scotland last night.
On top of this, I'm in the thick of Beasts of No Nation, which so far has completely blown my mind and given me nightmares. I'm all Uganda'd out. In fact, I feel completely and utterly exhausted.
After completing my Fulbright interview panel yesterday afternoon, I'm now about to embark on yet another academic [masochistic] endeavor - re-writing my research design yet again, this time attempting to analyze through the lens of "urban planning." This throws me back into the old question "What the f* is urban planning?" that haunted me so ruthlessly during graduate school. But I guess I couldn't quite say that during my interview. My starting point will be the collision of violent conflict and the city of the developing world. And then I'm stuck.