Hi everyone! I know it has been a while since my last post, but weeks 8 and 9 have taken their toll. However, I did want to update you on something interesting that happened to my class last week. If you are familiar with any of the other student life blogs, you might know that Celi has donned her explorer hat and set off for Venezuela! Her program, Venezuela: Building Economic and Social Justice had a study abroad component attached to it and we are all excited to hear about their journey when they return. However, some of us got a sneak peek at what they were experiencing. Shifting back to the United States for a moment, my class has recently been studying urban social movements in Venezuela. So, we thought it might be a good idea to connect a bit with our friends and colleagues who are actually there!
This past Wednesday, we set up Skype on the projector and called a group of about seven students who were already there and got to grill them about certain issues that we had been reading about. Since Venezuela is revving up for elections, we discussed that in addition to how the bottom up form of government is working (effectively, I might add) there. It is so fascinating to hear a challenge to the dominant narrative. Here in the states, there is never any positive spin placed on Chavez or any other government activity. There, however, the masses are in strong support of him and his policies since most of them positively affect their quality of life.
Our Skype date with the Venezuela program is a great example as to why Evergreen is my favorite place to be: we don’t limit ourselves to the classroom, or to books, or to the internet, or even just to this country. We incorporate knowledge from not only around the globe and through different mediums, but also from our peers and friends who are actually there and can provide a first hand look at what we are studying! Sadly, Celi was not one of the students we got to Skype with, but we are all looking forward to her return in April. I hope that your travels are safe, and exciting!