Saturday, March 29, 2008


Haven't posted in awhile. Been caught up catching up on homework and working a three day celebration of the inagoration of our 7th president here at Bentley. Kirk's visit was very insightful. While I loved spending time with him, I also became aware how separate we are from one another, and how much we are still healing from our parents separation (although in very different ways). But it was great to see him. We had a blast going to basketball games and just hanging out on campus.

Side comment. Does anyone use Twitter or LinkedIn?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kirk is Coming Today!

My "little" brother, Kirk, is coming to visit me for his Spring Break. I say "little" because as many of you know he is over a foot and a half taller than me. However, I am three years older than him. I'm super excited to have him visiting. Hopefully, he will get a better idea about what college is and have some fun. He seems to be struggling (as I think a lot of freshman do) so please pray for him. Here is our agenda for the week.

Saturday: Hang out/dinner.
Sunday: Celebrate Easter and my mom's sister's (Auntie M) house with her family.
Monday: Go to the Celtics v. 76ers game with my two friends Dave and Adrian.
Tuesday: Nothing "fun" planned. I need to work on that.
Wednesday: Go to Springfield, MA (1.5 hours away) to watch Bentley play in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight Game.
Thursday: Kirk heads back home in the AM.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How Blogging Has Hepled In Africa

First of all I finally figured out how to add a title. Hopefully, that will make things more easier. Second, I posted this blog for my MK 402 class, but loved it so much that I decided to post it here as well since most of you guys are interested in humanitarian work. I encourage all of you to check out all the links within this article - very cool stuff happening in our world.

I found that Israel’s article “A Talk on Kenyan Violence, Hope, and Social Media” to be very interesting. Not only does it talk about international social media, but as how social media is helping NGOs. Something we have been spending a lot of time in class discussing. In this article, Israel interviews Erik Hersman, an American who grew up as a missionary kid in Sudan and Kenya. Hersman works as an application developer and web consultant at Zungu. More importantly, I believe, for this article and humanitarian efforts globally, he was the principle developer of Ushahidi, a history-makin wiki that allowed Kenyans to generate geographic information on where violence was occurring in their county. Ushahidi, meaning “witness” in Swahili, was created after a blog post by Ory Okolloh, who stated how useful it would be to have a citizen-generated report of the violence in Kenya, since normal news sources were not report all that was going on. Kenyans can send in reports via SMS, email, or through the website and they are plotted on the map. Additionally, images, video links, and additional information can be added to the system. All the information first goes through a verification process, conducted by volunteers at Ushahidi. I believe that the most important aspect of Ushahdi is that it has created a new type of website within the humanitarian sphere for crisis events. Kenyans and NGOs are hoping to duplicate this type of tool in other areas of the world that are dealing which crisis.

Other things Israel and Hersman discussed was the role of social media during the violence. Hersman mentioned how Juliana Rotich used Twitter, Flickr, and her blog to keep everyone in Kenyan updated. Other bloggers, including Ory Okolloh, Daudi Were and Joseph Karoki, provided the service of keeping the world updated with images and news.

While Africans struggle with producing decent websites, social media is helping them in two ways, one, it allows individuals to circumvent ineffective government and social regulations. And two, it allows companies a chance to leapfrog past their competitors who are unaware of the feedback loop provided by social media. As for international companies who want to do business in Africa, social media helps them monitor information through blogs and old-fashioned message boards. Additionally, organizations are contacting African bloggers, who are experts in a particular field, for direct input on specific issues. (This sounds a lot like the same stuff that is happening globally).

Additional social media sites in Africa include: Afrigator, Mzalendo, Muti, and Mxit.

I found this article to be very interesting. The only way would have improved it was maybe by adding specific facts about social media in Africa. How many bloggers there are? How many cellphone users are in Africa? How many internet cafes? I think Ushahidi sounds like a great program and I would love to hear more about it and how it will be used in a different place in the world for dispensing information about a crisis. As someone who is thinking about going into the Peace Corp, or planning on working with NGOs at some point in my life. Information about bloggers and crisis assistances would be extremely important for not only me, but my family living in the States to be able to track where I am in regards to crisis.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Has this ever happened to you? I had a phone conversation with someone who I used to consider my best friend and brother. But our lives are at completely different places and our futures aren't very certain. And as I hung up the phone, I realized, that this was probably the last time I would talk to this kid again. Strangely enough, I wasn't upset. I don't know which is worse, knowing I probably won't talk to him again or not feeling bad about it. Anyways, has anyone else experienced this, or part of it? Let me know.
I was tagged (by default - but whatever)! Teehee!

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
  • I was a 6th grader at Meadow Park Middle School
  • Figuring out what it was to be a Middle Schooler
  • In "A" Hall - the Spanish Immersion Program
  • Playing Rec. Soccer
  • Staring in Meadow's "Becomes a Rose" Play
  • Starting to get involved at Sunset Pres.
4 Things on my To Do List today:
  • Finish being in this class
  • Maybe skipping out and going to the Men's Bball Finals - Go FALCONS!
  • RA meeting (and I'm doing a culture share)
  • Study a bit for my two finals tomorrow
  • Attempt to get a lot of sleep so I can handle my two finals tomorrow
Snacks I Enjoy:
  • Chips and salsa
  • 10 cent wings
  • Trail mix
  • Popcorn
Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:
3 of my Bad Habits:
  • Swearing
  • Being OCD about petty things
  • Watching TV instead of sleeping/reading
5 places I have lived:
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Beaverton, OR - Joscelyn St.
  • Beaverton, OR - Kevin Ct.
  • Waltham, MA (2 different dorms, 4 different rooms in 4 years)
5 Jobs I have had:
People I am tagging: Carrie, Traci, and then LOCC's blog

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I went to South Boston "Southie" yesterday to watch the annual parade and had a blast hanging out. I've never done it before and since it's my last year (more like last couple of months) here in Boston I thought I should go check it out. Some of the highlights include:
  • watching people wait 20 minutes to get into a liquor store because the shops were at capacity
  • there was a whole Star Wars section in the parade - I'm not sure what Star Wars has to do with being Irish or St. Patrick's Day but it definitely made my day!
I also attended Palm Sunday service. Started getting me in the mood for Easter. I finally figured out how the make crosses out of palms, which was interesting. I made a couple during the day for some friends as well.

I've been really struggling to read my Bible the last couple of weeks. I feel like it is more of a chore than anything. However, last night I decided to read all four "Triumphant Entries" from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And came across one of my all time favorite Bible verses: "I tell you, he replied, if I keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:40. I think I need to focus on that more throughout my daily life. Good verse to keep by my heart during Holy Week.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Break: Update! This picture is from Xcaret Park (see below).

I'm back from Spring Break - very relaxed and tan. I want to do a couple of blogs but here is the general overall one. Things I need to talk more about:

How much I hate American Airlines

And thus barely made the cruise - the boat left at 4PM - we got there at 3:48 (they had to re-open the gate to let us on)

Reading Naked Conversations by Shel Israel and Robert Scobl
I also finished Grendel by John Gardner (which I was supposed to read two weeks ago...)

Going to Xcaret

Swimming with Stingrays in Grand Cayman

I'm also very curious to hear what other people did/are doing for their Spring Breaks? What about after college - are they just called vacations? I don't know what I am going to do. I'm already planning post-college vacations!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm back! And tired. Will write more details tomorrow or Sunday. Enjoy this picture of Julie and I hanging out with a sting ray.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Spring Break:

Tomorrow starts my Spring Break journey. However, first I am going to attend NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship - NE -10! Which is taking place here at Bentley - and Bentley is set to win! GO FALCONS! Then:

  1. I'm driving to Manchester, NH to meet up with Julie, my fellow Spring Breaker.
  2. Take a Greyhound bus from Hartford, CT to NYC at 12:30 AM.
  3. Taxi to the airport.
  4. Airplane to Miami.
  5. Taxi to the port!
  6. RELAX for the next 5 days!
Please pray for me and my friend Julie, for safe travels and a fun time. I also tend to get wicked anxious right before I fly so please pray especially for that.

My goals for Spring Break:
  • Catch up on sleep!
  • Read my book for class
  • Fun read
  • Hang out with Julie
  • Get a good tan
  • Have fun exciting adventures
  • Meet some cool new kids

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I haven't been in the mood to blog for awhile now. Which is weird. I usually have tons of stuff I want to get out there. However, I've been working a lot AND been trying to get ahead of my school work so I can really enjoy my spring break. Which started yesterday! But I do have a couple of announcements:
  1. My younger brother, Kirk, might come to visit me for his spring break (in like two weeks)!
  2. My senior portraits arrived today! Graduation is getting closer. I have wallet sized photos if anyone wants any - let me know.
  3. My spring break cruise is so close, yet so far. I head down to CT on Saturday then leave really early Sunday morning.
Today, my goal is to get ahead in 3 classes (I've done 2 so far!) And get my laundry done. I am also working 4 hours today, driving students t0/from Service Learning, getting my car oil changed, watching Bentley play in the NE-10s semifinals, and attending Senior Pub Night. Busy girl I know!

Also, today my best friend, Beckie Kruse, is supposed to find out if she got a GA position and University of Florida. Her number one pick for grad school. She already got an offer from Auburn (her number 2), which isn't that bad. But she would still rather go to Florida. So keep her in your prayers.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Please pray for:

My mouth (more importantly - my tongue and my mind to control my thoughts and thus my tongue as well).

I don't like that I:
  • Swear
  • Exaggerate
  • Belittle people
  • Brag
Instead I want my mouth to only:
  • Encourage
  • Give blessings