Thursday, June 4, 2009

Last American Post


My parents are back from Australia today; SO good to see them. My wisdom teeth--or the gap where they used to exist, shall I say--don't hurt that bad anymore. Pam got me 'Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent' by Eduardo Galeano today. She said it was good despite his being a liberal. Oh, commies, how I love thee. Things coming together. Some checklist items I thought I'd share.

Polio shot? Check
Yellow Fever for Rwanda shot? Check
Hep A shot? Check
Meningitis shot? Check
Typhoid shot? Check
One more I don't remember? Check

Oxycodone oral ingestibles for pain? Check
Extra Strength Tylenol? Check
Malaria, Amodium, and Cypro orals? Check

Not one but TWO cans of pepper spray? CH-check

Head on straight? Check check check.

And now....why I wanted to be a part of OLPC:

This opportunity spoke to me like writing on the wall.
To be an agent of change within myself and others around me seemed too good to be true. To get a stipend while doing it was even better. To go to a continent plagued with history and scars seemed like a test--a test of time, character, and strength. I think we all wanted to feel a little more alive. For me, personally, I am going to learn so much when I go there, that to sit here and write some pseudo intellectual reflective piece on why I wanted to be a part of the project would be pure lies and ego. So there. I am excited. I am eager. I am inexperienced--in technology, rigorous travel in a developing continent, and in the art of teaching. But I am a survivor and I know how to listen. I am going to give myself and my mind wholly to this project and those kids, and I am going to be a changed person because of it. Anything that allows me this opportunity to step outside of my skin in this way must be grasped, held, embraced, and analyzed. For this I am grateful to everyone responsible for the OLPC mission.

Some very memorable quotes from some very special people in my life about this trip:

"Nicolas Negroponte has brought the price of computers and education down so much--that enough warrants him the Nobel Prize, in my opinion." Larry Webber on Nic Negroponte.

"What, do you want to live your life in a closet forever and just do the motions? So do it--you'll be joined by a million other people who are waiting to die." Nancy on being afraid of SA.

"Pepper spray? You need an AK." A drunk friend.

"When I first heard about this trip I was terrified, but the more I think about it, the more proud of you I am." My brother.

Going to bed. Will make next post in Kigali, in about 3 days, after about 40 hours of flight and in-airport sleep.

1 day until the beginning of an unforgettable summer.


  1. I wish you the best of luck (+safety), and hope you learn from and exchange culture with the people of South-Africa. I'm proud of your independent decision making and adventurous nature.
    Stay healthy and Sober :)

    FYI - we bought the house (not the one i liked!)

    HassaN SaleeM(Keatton)

  2. i love you and i am so sad we didnt talk before you left (my fault i know). I - of course - think you are amazing, but i thought that before you decided to go to africa. Edmonton is hoplessly lonely without you. I have no friends, least of all a best one, but i know you must be having one of the hardest but most spectacular experiences of our life. be careful my baby, there is only one of you. love you always and the best!

  3. i haven't heard from you in a week! is everything alright? please get in touch...