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.