Madeline England

Madeline England (Home for Human Rights – HHR): Madeline received her BA in economics from Mount Holyoke College in 2002. She then worked as a legal assistant for a London law firm and as an outreach coordinator for the Women’s Anti-Violence Education program in Philadelphia. From 2004 to 2006, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, West Africa, where she helped women entrepreneurs to coordinate marketing campaigns and business plans. At the time of her fellowship, Madeline was pursuing a Masters in International Affairs with a concentration in Human Rights at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. After her fellowship, Madeline wrote: "The fellowship was an infinitely valuable experience. I learned more about human rights advocacy and research, exactly as I was hoping, and I also gained experience working in a conflict zone. It helped me to develop the skills and understanding to work with community-based human rights organizations."

A side note on my meal plan

20 Jul

Sri Lanka has very interesting dietary habits. I don’t mean the food itself, which is always various curry dishes with rice, noodles, or pancakes. Rather I am referring to people’s attitudes towards food. For example:

Everyone always asks me where I eat. At the office in the morning, the first questions are “How are you? Where did you eat last night? Where are you buying your lunch?” No one ever seems curious as to what I eat, only where I got it. I can only assume that certain restaurants provide haute cuisine while others induce food poisoning, and hopefully someone will clue me in soon as to which restaurants are which.

All of the fruit is labelled according to country of origin in large bold font, as though the country is a brand name and of crucial importance in a shopper’s produce decisions. At the supermarket, I don’t just buy grapes. No, no, no. I buy only the best South African grapes. Pomegranates from Pakistan, strawberries from Chile, oranges from Australia — I travel around the world during my lunch break. It even forces me to make political decisions: should I buy the apples from the US or China? US patriotism or Chinese domination in the world economy?

I know some people who are very particular about what they eat — no funny sauces, strange organs or animal body parts, or unusual animals. I am not one of them. But it turns out I do like to know from which country my produce originates. Who knew?

You can bet I will be starting a petition to the USDA as soon as I return to the States.

Posted By Madeline England

Posted Jul 20th, 2007

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