I am a member of the silent majority (?) of ujenites who enjoy the Malawi news, updates, discussions, and occassional pictures of random children that I pretend I might know (I was in the education group of '96-'98). I thought I would temporarily break my silence with a brief update since I am heading back to Africa next week. I am going to spend the next 6 or 8 months in Luanda Angola doing research for my PhD dissertation (I'm a graduate student in The Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago). I'm going through an organization called Olympic Aid that does sport and play programs in refugee camps across the developing world. It's kind of an interesting organization (boardering on bizarre), although a bit frightening in its missionary zeal and Euro-centric attitude. But I guess that's what the development game is all about. I'm actually trying to do a comparative study about, at the broadest level, culture and middle childhood (I do have a more specific focus, but it is academic and boring) and have been working in a public housing development in Chicago for the other portion of my research. It's all way too ambitious, but despite myself I can't stop being fascinated by Africa. Of course, from everything I know Angola is an entirely different bird from Malawi- also lots of poverty, but excess quanitities of landmines, guns, explicit corruption, oil, diamonds, and anger. So I'm scared. On the off chance anyone has any connections in Luanda, I'd be happy for the contact. And anybody who finds themselves in Angola has a place to stay (provide your own weaponry). Stay well. Drew Guest.
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