I’m worried about our world…

So I wasn’t planning on writing anything today, but after spending just 20 minutes looking through the news and my social media, I felt like I needed to say something.  I’m so concerned about the world we are living in right now.  Have we always had such violence and hatred in our lives?  Has it been there, just not as visible?  What is going on?  How do we stop it?  How do we live at peace with each other when horrible things are happening?

The first thing I saw when I logged into Facebook were images of a woman who had gotten hit by some sort of grenade.  Her arm was basically destroyed, and from the images shown, I’m guessing it had to be amputated.  This women was protesting the DAPL pipeline and is just one of too many that have been seriously harmed during these protests.  I am by no means an expert, but I do not think that anyone deserves to by physically harmed for standing up for our earth.

Next I watched a video and read an article about men reading ‘mean tweats’ outloud to two women news reporters.  The messages to these women varied from mean to violent and outright disgusting.  I will not type any of the things said, as they are extremely offensive and horrible, but I just wanted to say that what people say to other people on the internet is horrible and it should not be happening.  Click here is you are interested in the article.  I think it is important to read about, because even though it is sad and disturbing, it is important to be aware that this is happening in our society so we can try and stop it.

The last thing I saw before deciding to write this post was a video of Richard Spencer giving a speech at a conference in Washington D.C.  Spencer spoke using rhetoric which could be found in Donald Trump’s campaign, but he also used rhetoric reminiscent of Nazi Germany.  There were screams of ‘Hail Trump!’ and people doing Nazi salutes.  To me, this is horrifying.  How could anyone think it is alright to portray our future president as Hitler?  How can people be supporting this kind of rhetoric and action?  I am deeply concerned…

I don’t know where to go from here, but I needed to get those feelings out and into the world.  I do not think it is important or necessary to share all of my feelings, but I feel that at this moment in time our country is going through something strange and scary.  I see so many people struggling with what has happened this year in our country and around the world, and I’m hoping that something good will happen to end all of the bad in the world. I know this is naive thinking, but I also think it is hopeful thinking, and maybe that’s what we all need right now.

 

 

Who Really Feeds the World?

“Nature is living and she is intelligent.”

shiva

I had the privilege to listen to environmental activist and eco feminist Dr. Vandana Shiva speak at Drake University this week. I had no idea what to expect from her speech, but I am very glad I attended!  She was insightful, inspiring, and hopeful for our worlds future.  Her topic was “Who Really Feeds the World?” and I wanted to write down a few things she said that were inspiring to me.

  • You can learn so much about the earth from people, especially people who society calls ‘illiterate’.
  • “We forgot it was insects who pollinate our crops.”  Instead, we have been killing them with chemicals.
  • Diversity should be celebrated in every context, including our food!
  • Nobody invented plants or animals (aka life).  We may have modified something, but nobody deserves a patent on life.
  • “Hunger is in the design of industrial farming.”
  • We seem to have declared life and diversity as our enemies.
  • “We need to build relationships of love, not relationships of capitalism!”
  • “A system that is killing the planet cannot give us food.”
  • Farmers are incredibly important.  They are the last people who are working with our earth, and they have the ability to turn back some of our harmful practices.  Their work is important and should be used to heal the planet.
  • “Nature is living and she is intelligent.”
  • “Every human process we have put in place is reversible.”

Dr. Shiva was very knowledgable and she does a lot of work to help farmers get out of the struggles that come with industrialized farming practices.  She helps farmers turn to completely organic practices, teaches the art of seed-saving, and works to promote diversity within crops.  She had so much insight on how industrial farming has affected everyone on the planet in some way, but she is especially focused on how it has affected farmers in India.  She spoke of a suicide epidemic among farmers because of the horrible financial stresses caused by industrialized farming.  This is a very sad reality, and one that I was completely unaware of.  I am saddened by this, but also hopeful that the work that Vandana Shiva and many others are doing will work to end this trend.

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Dr. Shiva delivering her speech at Drake University (11/16/16)

To My Fellow Bloggers

Hello fellow bloggers! Thanks for anyone taking the time out of their busy lives to take a look at some of my (still probably mediocre) blogs!  I wanted to write a little bit more about the intent of my blog and who my intended audience is, though I appreciate anyone who is the least bit interested it what I’m writing about!  Connecting and helping people with similar interests is very exciting to me, and I can’t wait to connect with all of you!

I am intending to write for an audience who can connect with my experiences in college and travel.  I will be writing about my experience while studying abroad and will try to give tips and ideas for you (my readers) to learn from.  While going through all of the struggles that come with college, I will also try to give some helpful tips and insight to my fellow college students.  I like to think that after a few years already done with, I would be able to help new students get a better perspective on college life!  And if there’s anyone who is still trying to figure out life, I understand you and want you to join me in sharing my interesting adventures!  Together we can figure out life and what the heck we are doing!

And for anyone needing a little pick-me-up or inspiration:

cupcakes

 

Why Study in New Zealand?

Come February I will be in New Zealand studying history at Victoria University of Wellington!  I could not be more excited or more nervous for this adventure!  I have always listed New Zealand as a dream travel destination, and now it’s becoming a reality!

After spending countless months debating where to study abroad I finally decided to follow my heart and go to the one place I couldn’t stop thinking about.  Before making a decision I was debating all kinds of other locations: Norway, Perú, South Korea, and the list goes on.  I had previously studied Spanish, and when I first came to college I was confident I would study in South America.  Once my second year started, my boyfriend and I (probably mostly me) decided that we wanted to go somewhere together to avoid the long-distance thing, and that’s where South Korea came to be an option.  After a short trip to Egypt, which we both went on, we decided it might be better to go our own ways to work on ourselves and become more independent.  When I finally committed to the idea of going somewhere all by myself, I decided to go to a place where I spoke the language, and somewhere I knew I would probably fall in love with!  New Zealand was my answer!

Now that I’m completely committed to traveling to New Zealand in February, I’m looking forward to what New Zealand has to offer!  I’m hoping to meet all kinds of people and make some great friends.  I’m hoping to do some things that get me out of my comfort zone.  I’m hoping to be outside enjoying the beauty of the country all the time.  And most importantly, I’m hoping that New Zealand will be a place I will not want to leave when the time comes in July!

 

Why ‘Unlikely Places’?

“Courage is found in unlikely places.”   -J.R.R. Tolkien

My title of Unlikely Places was inspired by a quote from J.R.R Tolkien.  I Chose to look at quotes from Tolkien because I am going to New Zealand in February and so I thought it would be fitting.  Being a Lord of the Rings fan, I always think of New Zealand as Middle Earth!  I am extremely excited to travel to this country, and that is actually the main reason I started this blog.  I wanted to be able to share my experiences with others, have a way for my loved ones to see what I’m up to, and to have something to look back on when I come home!

I love the idea that Tolkien presents in this quote.  He is of course talking in one of his books, but I think that his words can be applied to our lives too.  This may be a little personal, but I really feel that when I travel across the world all by myself, I will be able to find courage to become independent and strong.  I feel that I have always had someone there to hold my hand, and being alone in a new place will indeed cause me to look for some courage!  Tolkien’s words inspire me and give me hope for what is to come, and I hope that you too can find courage in unlikely places!

Hello!

This is my first time blogging and to be honest I’m super nervous.  I’m not nervous because I don’t know most of the people who will read this, I’m nervous because I don’t know what to say!  But bear with me, I hope to improve when I actually have something to talk about!  With this blog I hope to share my travels while I study abroad in New Zealand in the spring, but I also want to blog about important things I’m noticing in the world around me.

Today is the first presidential election I was able to vote in, and this election is definitely something I feel I could talk about.  I’m not much of a politics person, but I still feel very invested in this election.  I feel that as a woman there is something at stake for me.  I’m not an expert by any means, and I’m far from perfect, but even with that in mind I am still confident that this election is very bizarre and very worrisome for our country.  I’m sitting here in my classroom watching the polls go up on CNN and it’s so stressful!  I’m hoping that the time will fly and that we can leave without freaking out.  I don’t know what the future looks like for our country, but all I will say is that I hope we can come together and decide to rise above sexism and racism.

Enough on politics, it’s not my forte and I really know almost nothing about it (though I feel like I should as a college student)… I’m not sure what else to talk about today, but I do hope to be able to write better and much more interesting posts in the future.  Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment if you have any ideas on what I should write about in the future!