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Saturday, March 31, 2007

New Doctor Who!! *bounces*

I <3 David Tennant. And the Boy won't get me one! First the polar bear, now this! Bah!

The new companion is great. Rose was lovely, but I never really related to her. I like the dorkness factor of this one. Also, I was worried and highly amused by the rhinoceros men. Oh, dear. I know you have to suspend your disbelief, but, the Moon?

Also, every single person in London went...Oh, that's St. Thomas' (the hospital). Royal Hope, what?

And that's after tonight's lovely play at the National. Sisze Banzi is Dead was fantastic. I'm sure the boy will do better at describing it. Or I'll try again later. When I haven't had wine and can type (well).

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A PC update

Hi everyone.

After what seems like a million years, I received word that I've been medically cleared for Peace Corps. Seriously, I started on this process back in November and am just pretty relieved to have things finished. It's also exciting, but I'm also very concious of the way that this makes PC a REAL, basically done deal. Now, I'll get an invitation (possibly in the next week or so) and be heading to some unknown part of the world very shortly. It's suddenly scary.

I say shortly because I made a mistake and misread my nomination. According to my recruiter, I'm slated to leave in late May-early June, rather than the July, August, September that I'd been counting on ever since I was nominated. I don't know if I'd have done things very much differently, but it's still a bit of a shock. I have a plan, which works if I'm nominated and staging on a date that I think I am (I'll let you know for sure when I know), but it's still going to mean missing a lot of the things that I had planned to do this summer. I'm not going to be able to visit my sister and her baby on the reservation and I'm not going to be able to go to a Proddies concert or any of the Irish festivals. I'm not going to have very much time to be in Indianapolis and say goodbye to people. I'm going to miss Indypex. I'm probably going to miss the race, but mostly because I'll still be in Europe.

I am going to see a dear friend who'll be travelling around Britain this summer. I am going to see j00j one way or another. I am going to be able to spend time with my bestest friend and with my wonderful godparents. I am going to do that trip to Kosovo and North Cyprus to see Baaaa and my ECMUN co-hort in crime, Tanyel, who I've missed since last seeing her at our graduation from Earlham. I'm in real danger of being upset about the things that I'll be missing and just have to keep myself focused on the positives.

Worst of all, I'm going to have to leave my wonderful, wonderful boy behind. It's been almost a year now and it's going to suck to high heaven to leave. There's no real alternative. Even if I didn't go to PC, my visa would expire in July and I'd have to leave then. And it was going to hurt whenever the geographically induced split happened; really, I was delaying the inevitable because I was (and am) so happy. I have so much sympathy for my darling Juliet who just went through a similar situation when her boy finished his service in Niger and watching her struggle has really brought this whole situation home to me, even though it's a couple of months off.

I guess, it's going to suck to leave London as well. My mom hated the word 'suck' and forbid me to use it, but I think it's a good way to describe the way I'm going to feel for awhile. I love this city and feel so much at home here, as well as there being so much that I still haven't seen or want to do again. I'm going to go through a period of depression just about the National Theatre and all the amazing things that I'm going to miss seeing. I know that's silly, but it's really how I felt after study abroad, too. I just have to be determined to come back some day. For good. As long as I can import mac & cheese, I'm happy to be an expat.

There are good things to come, I know it. The country that I think I'm going to sounds like a dream assignment and SO MUCH LESS hardcore than Niger. Which, frankly, is ok by me (Jules, you will always be more hardcore than me, but we already knew that!). Still Africa, but with seasons and mountains and the possibility of seeing an occasional rugby match and Cadbury chocolate in the country 'next' door. Plus, the work sounds challenging but just like the sort of thing that I wanted to do in Peace Corps. And, I think that my adjustment won't be as crazy, given that I've not really lived in the US for a long time. Not using public transportation? What's that? You know. I think I'm more used to the less materialistic attitudes that places have outside the US and to damp and cold and to waiting for your clothes to dry on the line. And I'm certainly used to being away from friends and family. I don't always like being away from the people who are dear to me, but I'm definitely better at knowing when and how to say in touch than I was when I moved here and I'm better at missing them without it affecting the way that I live. Then again, I'll have a new set of dear friends to miss and that stinks.

Oh, and the blog'll get a new title when I find out for sure where I'm going. Just a head's up!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

You know what I've been realising, and it's awfully sad that I was never much for it before, is that I need to be more vocal about the issues I care about. So, I've e-mailed my state representative to vote in favour of the proposed hate crimes legislation (and let's not discuss why we don't have any yet) and against a constitutional amendment banning civil unions and non-heterosexual 'marriages.'

For an idea of what I'm up against, whether on issues or just in the state of Indiana, in general, check out this article from Nuvo (Indy's alternative newspaper. Many of you will want to bang your heads against the wall.

I think I need to dash off some letters to my US Senators about Darfur. After all, the main message of my genocide book seems to be that the US government won't give a flying fuck about people dying unless there's public pressure. If you can think of some other genocides that I've missed, let me know.

Oh, and I did start working on the Mexico report, so never fear! I'll do some more after we go out for root beer tonight!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How exciting do these sound?

Carla's List

Filmmaker Marcel Sch├╝pbach was given unprecedented access behind the scenes of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. In an atmosphere of high tension, where everything plays out like a poker game, prosecutor Carla Del Ponte and her team relentlessly pursue notorious perpetrators of crimes against humanity, such as Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, still at large. Both Serbia and Croatia – as well as the International Community – pledge total cooperation in helping locate the suspects, but this does not seem to produce any concrete results. And time is running out: in September 2007, Del Ponte's appointment as prosecutor ends. Moving between The Hague, New York, Zagreb, and Washington, Carla's List vividly brings to life Del Ponte's dogged race against the clock in pursuit of justice.

Total Denial

The inspiring story of fifteen villagers from the jungles of Burma whose quest for justice eventually leads them to bring a case to a US court against two oil giants – UNOCAL and TOTAL – for human rights abuse. For five years producer/director Milena Kaneva collected accounts from Burmese villagers of forced labour, relocation of villages, rape, and murder associated with construction of the Yadana pipeline. Her "guide" during this journey was Ka Hsaw Wa, a member of Burma's Karen ethnic minority, and one of the leaders of the student movement for democracy in Burma in 1988 which was violently suppressed by the Burmese government. For more than a decade, at considerable personal risk, he has gathered testimonies and other evidence on numerous cases of human rights and environmental abuse. In 1995, along with the co-founder of Earth Rights International, Katie Redford, Ka Hsaw Wa brought a landmark lawsuit against UNOCAL and TOTAL that drew international attention to the pervasive abuses in Burma.

Bring it on, Human Rights Watch International Film Festival! Anyone wanna come? The Boy just gave me evil glares....

I (still) can't spell

Hurrah! I have found a way to make my spelling's non-American! If I just search for the letter 'z' (or, ahem, 'zed') and replace it with an 's', then it's all better! w00t! I can't tell you how many spelling corrections I've gotten on my MUN briefings. Arrgh.
 
Maybe I should have done it on my dissertation, too....

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Contents of my Wallet...

More on Mexico later (and sorry to all those people who thought I'd been eaten because I didn't actually bother telling them I'd be missing for a week), but I find the contents of my wallet interesting. No one else may, so move along if you're not interested in a 'Joyce thinks this is cool' post.

Money:
£10
USD $63.71
€30
3100 CFA
Pesos $88.50

3 Student ID cards (NUS, ISIC, Earlham)
5 Library cards (British Library, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Senate House, Indianapolis, Southwark)

2 Krakow tram tickets
What I think is a 24 hour Bratislava tram ticket

Some business cards

Ticket stubs from:
Secession
Vienna Synagogue
Versailles
Reina Sofia
The Prado

And my sister made me promise to get a new wallet before I left the city, because the bus part of the London bus wallet's sort of fading fast. Good thing I know where to get a new one...!