Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just wondering

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

For you guys at home, I'm just wondering, are you having to deal with hearing this Justin Timberlake song "It Comes Around" or whatever EVERY FIVE MINUTES too? Or is that just the hot thing here right now? The video is interesting. It's not a bad song. It's just Way Over Played.
Or maybe it's just the fact that my counterpart is playing that and the Enrique Iglesias song "Hero" on a constant loop.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Gender and Development Laura

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps. Neither the U.S. government or the Peace Corps think it’s funny that Barbie is giving you the finger. That’s just me. And it’s only because I couldn’t find a better picture.

I wanted to find a picture of “feminist” Barbie doll or "Progressive Barbie" to indicate that “gender and development Laura” is just one face of who I am and what I do, but perhaps because “feminism” the belief that men and women deserve equal treatment – what Gloria Steinem once said is really “humanism” means so many different things to different people, no such picture exists. Alas, this is the closest I could come.

But I’m not just trying to justify posting a picture of Barbie giving you the finger when I ask you to think about this image-ask yourself why? She’s been called the “perfect girl” (woman? I’ve never heard Barbie referred to as a woman – and why not? She’s nearly 50.) She’s been called a “bitch.” She is mass produced to always be beautiful, always smiling, always dressed immaculately. She should have everything she could want. What reasons does she have to give you the finger? What about life in our time does Barbie have to be dissatisfied with? - I ask you.*
In 50 words or less.

In May, I was elected to the Gender and Development Committee Board. There were 3 openings on the board and I believe only two of them were designated for my volunteer “class.” However Group 22 members swept the board and were elected to all three of the open spots. As a board member I get reimbursed for travel to go to meetings which is a good thing because the locations rotate around the country, but any PCV can attend them. Last weekend was my first meeting.

The Gender and Development committee of Romania is 10 American volunteers, and 10 Romanian members, many representing organizations whose mission has to do with gender equality. We have sub-committees dealing with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, Women’s Health and Anti-trafficking, Domestic Violence, and our Camps.

GAD helps interested volunteers coordinate summer camps for teens called either Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) or Teaching Our Boys to Excel (TOBE). They are a kind of empowerment program for young people, teaching life skills, and about healthy relationships, sexuality, self-confidence, and leadership. GLOWE and TOBE camps have spread to other Peace Corps countries, but the idea originated right here in Romania.

GAD is an excellent forum for volunteers and Romanians to network on issues of gender, sexuality, equality, health and safety, prevention of domestic violence, etc.
The committee does some of its own fundraising so people with projects that coincide with the group’s mission can apply for some funding. (And since I know you’re all interested in how you can contribute to the work of the GAD committee Romania, stay tuned for how you can purchase your very own 2008 GAD Romania Calendar featuring the results of the Peace Corps Romania photography contest! Makes a great Christmas gift!)

Our meeting was all day Saturday in Ploie┼čti the city where I had my pre-service training so the newest class of volunteers in training could attend. (Group 23-ahhh! I’m not in the freshman class anymore!) It was a great meeting with a lot of ideas for upcoming projects. I finally got to mention to other volunteers in public forum my “I have a dream” idea for a youth summer camp based on “celebrating our differences.” The idea is young, but growing…Another idea of mine, relatively simple, just taking a program I attended in the dorms in Stevens Point and bringing it to Romania may be featured in the next issue of GAD’s quarterly newsletter “Beyond Gender.”

This is very exciting for me because so far I’ve spent a lot of my time at site researching ideas and gathering resources for projects I might do or other peace corps volunteers might do – and not much else. It was really nice to see and talk to some of my friends from training after a month apart, to meet some other volunteers I only knew through email until now, and most of all to share my resources and knowledge and get some feedback on my ideas.

All in all it was a fun and fulfilling weekend and I returned to Deva on Sunday with fresh energy for projects I hope to implement in the future. Actually I returned to Deva after an 8 hour train ride hot and sweaty and hungry as hell, but also full of motivation – and after a shower and a meal I was and ready to resume research and sharing of resources. (Some people call that emailing people all day-but I call it sharing resources.)

I am also making in-roads with another organization in Deva called Connexiuni which serves women in several capacities.

This weekend I’m off to attend a high school one-act play festival, because you can take the girl out of the theatre, but you can’t take the theatre out of the girl, or that’s my theory anyway. More later about the high school drama camp in Oradea later this summer where I will be a “leader.”

* I am just trying to justify posting this picture.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Where's the Love?

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps, especially this post which has nothing to do with the Peace Corps at all.

"You are Ennis's daughter Alma Jr. Your father hurt you a lot with his neglect when you were young but you were desperate to have a relationship with him no matter what. Despite your pain you grew into a beautiful young woman mature enough to see your father for the sad old man he is. Too bad you’re still stupid enough to get married at 19. Good luck! "

Creepy. I honestly wasn't thinking that much about MY "What Character are you in Brokeback Mountain Quiz?" as a personality test when I wrote it. I was just thinking about my own personal analysis of the characters. I don't claim to that is in anyway an accurate personality test - just another way for my to express my favorite pasttime: Analysing Brokeback Mountain.

I know some of you have taken the quiz, but only Nicole has posted the results on her blog. Come on guys! I know it's stupid and it's like so 2005, but I WROTE this quiz. Granted I wrote it in my notebook last spring and just now posted it on the internet. And I wrote it mostly out of inside jokes and obscure references to the short story, but still. I just want you to post the results on your blogs so I could feel cool for a few minutes. Even if you already emailed me what character you are. I just want to SEE it.

And if you haven't taken MY QUIZ yet, to do so, here's the link. http://www.quizilla.com/users/000lunchbox/quizzes/What%20Character%20in%20Brokeback%20Mounatin%20Are%20You?/

Sarah, Chris, Humphrey, Andy - You guys who never update this means you! I know you're all busy but I want to hear from you. I miss you all. And give me comments! I need love, guys!

Ok, now I'm done whining.