Thursday, January 26, 2006

True story: At my Aunts house, half sitting half laying on an oversized bouncy ball. One of those ones you do sit-ups. I was attempting to do just that, sit-ups on it, something I have never been able to do. This attempt went terrible wrong when my body rolled off, almost in slow motion, and I basically flung myself against a wall. As this happened I put my arm out to stop myself, which slid down the wall and pinned my hand between my body and the wall. I know have a huge bruise one my hand and pain every time I shake hands with someone. Funny yet not.

As I write this I am sitting in the living room of my apartment at school. There is a winter wonderland outside my window, I have a large mug of Ugandan tea on my right and CNN is on in front of me. Issues on the news today: Jack Abraham, mining reform and domestic spying. Looking over the past 10 days I have had diverse experiences and emotions. I have said good-bye to a good friend with no idea of when I’ll see him again, I have heard a great man speak of his life during the Rwandan genocide, worked my last day (hopefully) in retail and spent endless hours analyzing what is yet to be my future.

Sitting on a comfy leather couch in a whole foods store, of all places, I had a lovely chat with my dear friend from the summer. Seeing his directorial work a few days earlier we discussed the results as well as our usual, life, religion and politics. I have said good-bye to great friends before with little hope of seeing them again. I feel though that with this friend we will have more great and random conversations in the future. We’ve made tentative plans meet up in London in the fall. All assuming his schedule allows for it, the financial resources are there and oh ya- I am in London. After saying good-bye he said, “Have a nice life”. Said in jest it still had a eerie ring of never seeing each other again.

Tuesday night, my mother and I drove up to school for the night. Being back on campus was so refreshing. The next morning after a quick stop in East town, we headed back to school to hear Paul Rusesabagina speak. Two hours flew by as he went through his life during the genocide. It was his ending remarks that were striking. He talked of how world leaders have gotten together to remark on the horrors of the Holocaust and how they would never allow such a thing again. But yet it continues to happen, and is still happening as you read this!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Side note: Talked with someone last night who gets that being Christian is not synonamous with being a Republican. Comforts me to know there are more like myself out there in that respect.

My question or really the topic on my mind these past few days is...employment. Or really, the lack of it. Someone who has been in my life since birth, who I am very close with has been out of regular work for years now. This is not some person who is lacking in experience, education, creativity, understanding or patients. They are highly qualified, educated and patient. Idolness has made brief apperiences in their endless search for employment only due to shattered dreams and a sense of worthlessness. The tragic saga that has become this persons employment record seems to haunt them in the current economic down spin America now finds herself in. This job hunt that has lasted for years now does not just effect them. The children, spouse, sister, and I of course am only a bystander in the experience. I watch from a distance but with an insiders view and understanding of the havic this is causing both financially but almost more costly, at an emotional level. Chocolate and delish cooked meals has yet to work as a solution or even distraction- and believe me I have tried.

It hurts me so much to see this person who means so much to me in such a state of dispare. There is no question that it is only due to God's Grace that they have made it through some of the more rougher patches that life has brought them through. Yet I see what they go through and they have proveded so much to their kids, their friends, family and me. That family is my second home, they have comforted me and they have made me laugh. The gifts they give are more valuable and rich in experience than any material object or exotic trip I have ever been on. My trips to Africa have shaped my interests and given me a passion to pursue but my experiences with this family have shaped me, who I am, and given me a direction and encouragement in my pursuits.

My Mother talks about finding her magic wand, because with that she need only to wave it once to fix whatever travisty those she loves are going through. Well with my magic wond I would cure this unemployment issue, and because they need money and they do, but because this lack of a job has created a void of helplessness and hopelessness and that is what I seek to cure.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I enter the new year with a quick glance at my past and great hope and expectations of the future. In the next 360 odd days I will graduate from college, and hopefully...Enter grad school in England. Verdict is still out.

Christmas was a delight as usual. It was my New Years that offered a pleasant surprise. I, sadly enough, have had my first fun New Years. A wonderful friend drove all day from New York to spend Friday night with me and usher in the New Year in Chicago. After working for what seemed like the longest five hour shift ever at work I took the train into the city. Upon walking out of the train station located on Washington and Canal I was instantly comfortable and at ease. I had after all traveled this exact route countless times over the past few months. The 45 minute train ride had left me a little lonely and unsure. Surrounded by a excited crowd already in pre-celebration mode I was a little emotionally frazzled. However once stepping onto the Chicago city streets I was instantly at home. I knew my exact route, and even northeasterly direction. While sitting on the El I was struck by the diversity. The few weeks I have spent in the burbs had obviously gotten to me. Isolated by the upper-middle Caucasian class in the suburbs had diluted my sense of the world once again. Not getting off at the Clark and Division stop was like fighting human nature.

Ultimatly the night was spent at Wild Hare, a regay bar in Wringleville. Fun was all around. My group of roughly eight girls, one guy were defiantly in the minority. We were possibly 9 of 20 Caucasians in the place. Loved it. Many a great dancer that night as well as the occasional bad from whom we had to rescue a friend from time to time. Not without laughing hysterically first of course.
Word to the male dancer: Do not think that tight corders and dance music gives you the right to be "extra friendly" if you get my drift. If you find an elbow suddenly jabbed into your gut know that yes, it was intentional and not a bad dance move on my part. Know that I do not appreciate the inappropriate grabbing and what not. And alcohol consumption is no excuse or exception to this rule.

The night, or day rather came to a close at roughly 5am. Crashed for about 4 or 5 hours then made the seemingly long treck back to the train station thus starting a very very sleepy day of watching movies in my pajamas and napping next to my also exhausted friend.