As I sit here in front of my computer, attempting to extract production in the form of new chapters for my thesis, I find it hard to believe that I was sitting in DC last week, surrounded by the amazing energy of the other fellows and the Advocacy for Peace staff. What a whirlwind tour it was. It was definitely worth the cost and the energy spent to get there, that long flight from Buenos Aires to the States definitely puts a new twist on the term red-eye flight. I’m pretty sure my eyeballs looked like the Red Line on the Metro after my arrival at Dulles, but fortunately I had a few days to recover prior to the start of training.
Being back in the States is always a bit strange these days. Over the last 4 years I have only been stateside for flickering moments, strange one week forays into the nation of my birth. During these moments, and last week was no exception, I am consumed with a roller coaster ride of emotions and deep, inner questions. Sometimes it feels great and I feel like I want to be back, but most of the time I realize that the global travel/study/work bug that has bitten me and caused my wandering ways, will most likely continue to call the shots.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the visit was the Survivor Corps training. Through that training I realized how important this opportunity really is and now have a better idea of what I hope to accomplish upon arriving in Ethiopia next month. The training was professional, informative and effective and it was certainly an honor and a privilege to share that space with the six other Advocacy for Peace/Survivor Corps (formerly Landmine Survivors Network) fellows. They will be performing similar advocacy/information technology /social justice support roles in Uganda, El Salvador, Colombia, Bosnia, Jordan and Vietnam. Since this is landmark partnership between AP and Survivor Corps we all realize how much potential is there to take some positive steps toward the deepening of this partnership. It is a challenge that we all look forward to.
Containing my excitement as the departure dates get closer will be difficult, but for now the focus must remain on the rest of my time here in Argentina and the pending thesis chapters that are under construction. For my next post I hope to have a better update on thesis work and also detail how I came to be interested in the land mine situation in Africa. It’s good to be back here in Argentina, while I continue to reflect on DC and begin to dream more frequently of what lies ahead in Ethiopia.
Want to know more?
Check out this video link to the ted.com site, a collection of the major thinkers and global movers who are working for positive change. There is an excellent collection of videos on Africa and this video focuses on the work of Eleni Gabre-Madhin, a former World Bank researcher who has returned home to Ethiopia to build a commodities market that will increase the efficiency of local farmers and enhance food supply sustainability, a major challenge facing the country.
Another excellent video from TED, this is a moving story of how Patrick Awuah used his Swarthmore education to go on to work at Microsoft before eventually returning home to Ghana to found a liberal arts university that works to create strong leaders for Africa.
Posted By Lucas Wolf
Posted May 29th, 2008