Thursday, January 14, 2010

Democratic Republic of Congo, George Mason, Haiti...

This morning I went to my geography class on Violent conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. We had a great lecture on the DRC (Dem. Rep. of Congo). My teacher spent time there recently and really wanted to communicate to us the magnitude of the situation the people face there. That country is in a REALLY bad way. The factions that are all fighting and years of international intrusion have left a nation that could be incredibly wealthy due to its resources in a dire state. It's quite tragic. After all the discussion about DRC and its issues, my desire to go to Africa is even stronger. I just REALLY want to go there and make a difference. In fact, after I got home from class I sent in an application to win a trip to Africa with a NY Times journalist. The lecture today just put me in one of those mindsets where I suddenly am very aware of the incredible span of difference between the life I lead and the lives of many of Africa's poorest folks. As I got a drink from a drinking fountain right after class I realized that I should even be joyful that I have clean and fresh water that I can trust so readily available. I lead a life full of luxuries that many Africans can't even imagine, and they lead lives devoid of things I can't even imagine. It's quite sad, but makes me want to make a difference. Of course I most want to contribute to human rights, but any difference I could make at all would be great.

After my class I came home and applied to win that trip, and then after a while I headed back up to campus. On the way there I looked at my phone and realized that I'd missed a call. It was from an area code I didn't recognize, so I thought it might be a law school. They left me a message and sure enough, I got accepted to George Mason! Woot! It's definitely one of my top 3 choices. I was thinking it was one place that I was feeling fairly borderline about my admission chances.

So I was feeling pretty great about that and went and bought some food in the student center. I sat down with my food and saw that they had CNN playing on the TV there. Of course they were covering the earthquake in Haiti. It's an incredible thing when nature can shut down the center of a nation badly enough that people can't even get into the country. Watching the coverage brought my mood back down, but also reminded me of how much I want to make a difference in the world. Hopefully the more I say things like this the more I'll be driven to actually do something about these feelings.

Anyway, that was the roller coaster of feelings that I felt this morning. I can't wait to figure out what comes next. K, see ya later.


  1. Thanks Amelia, etc.

    And Linner, I want to leave Utah more than you know apparently, but it's certainly more likely that I don't leave Utah. I'm glad you're excited about it though! I really like George Mason. If they gave me any sort of scholarship I'd probably go there in a heart-beat.

  2. Congrats Jeff. I'm a proud big sister. And, there are always student loans. :0)