Friday, February 29, 2008

"If I lay here..."

I'm lying here on our bench-swing outside, doing my homework, enjoying the weather, looking at the gorgeous sky, listening to my music (on Cannon's computer), and just's great.

"Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel..."
"Don't need money, don't need fame..."
"...and just forget the world"
"While there's a part of me in that guy you see..."
"I can't stop if you can't start..."
"Between how you are and how you could be..."
"Here we go, there's nothing left to lose..."
"Crying Jesus, help me to see the morning light of one more day..."
"And I can see forever, on this high road..."
"And watchin you walk away..."
"Til mine is the only face you see..."
"To walk on stormy seas..."
"Gray ships pass into the west..."
"Somehow I'll be strong..."
"You've been runnin hard, you can't find your place..."
"If I die, let me die..."
"Get too tired..."
"I was blinded by my own fears..."
"Comin down the world over..."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fleece it up

My computer has been down for awhile so I didn't think I could post pictures, but I figured out I can still get my pictures by uploading them onto campus computers. But yeah, I have a lot of pictures.

Haha, I love this picture. This is on the way to stake conference.

Utah can have a cool sky too.

Playing Risk on Cannon's computer

Met up with my Uganda peeps.
Colby's car.
Playing this fun winking game at the Bishop's house.
Attaboy Mitt.
Whenever I chat with Carrie on gmail, two text boxes always come up.

Me and Barack Hussein Obama.

Little la likes her beef jerky. Colbers doesn't like getting his picture taken.
My sweet ride for a month. A 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid. I should have taken some pictures on the inside.

I spied on the enemy. Mr. Huckabigot.
I walked downstairs in the morning and what did I see? A lamp magneted onto the ceiling. And Miss Jenny creepily standing there.

Eating with Apartment #3. We celebrated the joining of our two apartments through Kecca's (Kyle and Becca) engagement. Soon we'll all be roommates-in-law.

Mitt won Michigan. So we celebrated at Del Taco. Attaboy Del Taco.
A wicked cool sunset while walking home from campus.

Contra-dancing. Which has nothing to do with the nintendo game, I found out.
Wow, Tricia got taken out by a Wyoming mile marker #138.

We rocked the caucus.

The other side of the gym had a Ron Paul and a Thompson section. Our whole side was pretty much Mitt Romney. We had some fun chants across the court.

We were talking to Cannon, who we thought was in bed, but then he came upstairs, but it seriously looks like he's in there.

Adam and Cannon being boys.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Global warming schmobal warming

I, Kasey Beck, am doing a paper on global warming and how it is not a national security threat. Here's a list of all the things the media has blamed on global warming, can you say alarmism? I think my favorite is fashion disaster and smaller brains

Agricultural land increase, Africa devastated, African aid threatened, Africa hit hardest air pressure changes, Alaska reshaped, allergies increase, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, Antarctic grass flourishes, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic lakes disappear, asthma, Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric defiance, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, bananas destroyed, bananas grow, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, bird visitors drop, birds return early, blackbirds stop singing, blizzards, blue mussels return, bluetongue, boredom, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain Siberian, British gardens change, brothels struggle, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, cancer deaths in England, cardiac arrest, caterpillar biomass shift, challenges and opportunities, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, cloud stripping, cockroach migration, cod go south, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), computer models, conferences, coral bleaching, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink, cold spells, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, cremation to end, crime increase, crocodile sex, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, cyclones (Australia), damages equivalent to $200 billion, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, death rate increase (US), Dengue hemorrhagic fever, dermatitis, desert advance, desert life threatened, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, diarrhoea, disappearance of coastal cities, diseases move north, Dolomites collapse, drought, drowning people, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early marriages, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spinning out of control, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, Earth wobbling, earthquakes, El NiƱo intensification, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, bats, pandas, pikas, polar bears, pigmy possums, gorillas, koalas, walrus, whales, frogs, toads, turtles, orang-utan, elephants, tigers, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, penguins, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches), experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, famine, farmers go under, fashion disaster, fever, figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fish catches drop, fish catches rise, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flesh eating disease, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, Florida economic decline, food poisoning, food prices rise, food security threat (SA), footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frostbite, frosts, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, , glacial growth, glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, god melts, golf Masters wrecked, Gore omnipresence, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, hazardous waste sites breached, health of children harmed, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, homeless 50 million, hornets, high court debates, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health improvement, human health risk, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, illness and death, inclement weather, infrastructure failure (Canada), Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, industry threatened, infectious diseases, nflation in China, insurance premium rises, invasion of cats, invasion of herons, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, Kew Gardens taxed, kitten boom, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers' income increased (surprise surprise!), lightning related insurance claims, little response in the atmosphere, lush growth in rain forests, Lyme disease, Malaria, malnutrition, mammoth dung melt, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, marine dead zone, Meaching (end of the world), megacryometeors, Melanoma, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, more bad air days, more research needed, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountains break up, mountains taller, mortality lower, mudslides, National security implications, new islands, next ice age, Nile delta damaged, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean waves speed up, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, oyster diseases, ozone loss, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plankton loss, plant viruses, plants march north, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears drowning, polar bears starve, polar tours scrapped, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychosocial disturbances, puffin decline, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rainfall reduction, refugees, reindeer larger, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, riches, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, rivers dry up, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, rockfalls, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, salmon stronger, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, sewer bills rise, sex change, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, shrinking ponds, shrinking shrine, ski resorts threatened, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, snowfall reduction, societal collapse, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spiders invade Scotland, squid population explosion, squirrels reproduce earlier, spectacular orchids, stormwater drains stressed, street crime to increase, suicide, taxes, tectonic plate movement, teenage drinking, terrorism, threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tourism increase, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, tree beetle attacks, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees could return to Antarctic, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, tsunamis, turtles crash, turtles lay earlier, UK Katrina, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, volcanic eruptions, walrus displaced, walrus pups orphaned, war, wars over water, wars threaten billions, water supply unreliability, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, weeds, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whales move north, wheat yields crushed in Australia, white Christmas dream ends, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine -German boon, wine - no more French , winters in Britain colder, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Nation of F6

I need to take a break from my paper. Here are some scriptures that I really like:

2 Nephi 29:5, 14

5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever.

Psalm 9:10,

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Isn't that awesome?! What an awesome covenant. He'll always remember us. No relationship on earth will be as special as the one with the Lord. Too often we forget him through our hectic lives, and we always forget about these covenants and we forget that he is able to do anything. We forget to keep the commandments and then just trust in him. It's hard. Life is hard, it won't get any easier. But scriptures like these always help.

What is Kosovo thinking?! For them to declare themself a country is almost as dumb as F6 becoming a country inside of moon apartments (we came really close to separating from the U.S. and becoming independent). Ok, so it's not as dumb, and I do understand that it's really hard for Kosovars to trust the Serbian government after the genocide in the 90s, but I wonder how much they've thought this out. There are only 2 million people, 10% Serbs. They have 60% unemployment, though that number is probably lower due to the black market. They have no access to the sea, no resources, they are a moutainous country. They don't have any money, they have to rely on foreign aid and foreign troops to protect themselves. I mean, what do they honestly have going for them? How are they honestly going to be able to support themselves? How are they going to find a niche in the world market. Maybe if they joined Albania, but that is very unlikely. Frankly, I think the nation of F6 had a better chance of surviving. We were 100% employed, we had things we could offer the world market, we were able to defend ourselves (Gavin is really big), um, we had cool resources like a tv, nintendo, a funny dishwasher, a toilet that would randomnly flush, a weird heater, cool wallpaper, and plenty of newspapers. We had the capabilities to install surveillance if we wanted. We could have possibly gotten nuclear weapons with some "aggressive negotiations." We had lots of food and our country wasn't mountainous.

Yeah, we would last longer than Kosovo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Ok, so some questions to ask:
-Will anything actually change now that Fidel Castro has stepped down? I don't think so, his brother, Raul, is now the boss and he's been with Fidel through everything, so I don't think anything will change.

-Wow, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia! Will Russia do anything about it? I don't think so. Russia, of course, doesn't like it, but they wouldn't invade Kosovo when there are 16,000 NATO troops there. NATO, the EU and US all support Kosovo becoming independent. I think the bigger problem is the Serbian minority in Kosovo. Are they going to do anything about this? It's pretty crazy that a country just became independent two days ago. The last country to become independent was Montenegro and I think the last one before them was Eritrea. Eritrea is a contentious I think. I'm guessing borders will change because Ethiopia doesn't have access to the sea because of Somalia and Eritrea. Maybe they'll take land from Somalia, or Eritrea, Ethiopia has problems with both of them.

-What is going to happen in Pakistan? Musharaff's party lost big. This is a problem, I think. He does not want to step down even though most of the country wants him to. Pakistan makes me real nervous because they have nuclear weapons and they are instrumental in fighting the Global War on Terror.

-So Grandpa went 63-0 in boxing when he was in college. Should I take up boxing? Does it run in the family?

2 Nephi 26 says how everything that God does is for the benefit of his people. I never noticed this verse until today. It's interesting to read that because the past couple years I've thought about how everything my parents do is for their family. Well, it's the same with God. Everything he does is for his family. The column right next to that verse talks about charity. That is a really good example of charity.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Hero, Rush Limbaugh:

I don't think politicians and elected officials and bureaucrats and even the media are responsible for the greatness of the country. I think it's individual Americans laboring in anonymity, not seeking fame, just trying to get by, play by the rules, work hard, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Now, in terms of the content, I just come here and I try to have fun every day. And I'm honest. I don't say outrageous things I don't believe just to get people in a tizzy. I have the benefit here of not having anybody tell me what I can or can't say. It's totally up to me. But I'm very serious about a lot of things. And so I get very passionate about those things, and I do so with honesty. But I also — it's show biz, too. There's a lot of radio out there. There's a lot of TV. There's a lot of competition. And you have to do certain things to cut through the noise. And that's where the showbiz characteristics will surface, such as "Talent On Loan From God." You know people think I'm saying I'm Christ, which I'm not. But it's just these little signature things that sometimes rub people the wrong way or make them think that I'm an arrogant and pompous person. Those are just the showbiz things.

I said this on the radio yesterday. I really do take all this seriously in terms of the future of the country and where we're headed. And liberalism to me, based on its history, portends disastrous things for the future of the country. I think liberals in a political sense need to be defeated, not accommodated, not reached across the aisle and hugged, not walked across the aisle and accommodate them and bring them in. And I certainly don't want the Republican Party to be redefined by becoming victorious on the basis of a bunch of liberal Democrats being attracted to the party as liberal Democrats. I'd love to have them if they are converted to our side. But we're missing genuine conservative leadership, so that's not going to happen.

I firmly believe that conservatism — genuinely articulated, passionately articulated — wins in national elections most every time it's tried.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Uganda Scholarship

Hey, this is from a friend of mine who went to Uganda.

"I'm helping create a scholarship program for the kids at some of the schools we worked with last summer in Uganda, and right now we're trying to get an idea of who might be interested in sponsoring a student. It will probably cost about $10 a month for tuition, food and housing for an elementary school student, and $50 a month for a secondary school student. There's no pressure at all - just send me an email if you thinkyou might be interested (let me know how many and what level) and I'll send you more info when I get it.Thanks so much!"

If you want to do it, send me an email. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

As I walk into the bookstore from the Wilk, on the right side, my nose picks up a scent that I remember from my childhood. The problem is that I can't figure out what it is.

Today I saw no one in the SWKT main floor hallway at 12:30...that never happens.

Skyler just gave me some beef jerky- it's so good! Thanks bro.

I just love this:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Unedited thoughts, No proof reading or spell check

Actually I think that's how most blogs are.

Yesterday after the Rwanda video I chatted with Carrie a little about the video and I asked her how she liked Hotel Rwanda. They said they really liked it and what not and then I asked her what she was going to do about it? Or what's she going to do about the Congo, where 5.4 million have died in the last 10 years? What's she going to do about Sudan, or Uganda? But really, what can we actually do?

I think one big thing we can do is give our time and money to causes we believe in. There are some really good organizations out there like HELP International. That's why I went with to Uganda last year and it changed my life. Ya know, I really think trying to feel the pains of others really helps you. We live in a very competitive self-serving world. It really is hard to feel the plight of others when there's so many external forces convincing you to focus on yourself. It's kind of funny, I've been really trying to reconcile my desire to help others and conservatism. Here's the thing, there are sterotypical conservatives out there (such as my hero, Rush Limbaugh) who are portrayed in the media as selfish, rich individuals who don't care about the poor. I think this is a media thing, jealous of Rush's power to convince and argue conservatism. I really can't stand the media, I think I almost hate the media. It's not just the liberal media news sources, but I'm talking about this Hollywood culture of distorting good, moral, American values. It's kind of hard for me to put my finger on it, but in the media's eyes, America is the worst country in the world. They try to distort our history and do stories on everything bad we do. I agree that there are flaws and things we've done and do that are embarrassing, but what about all the good we do? Why is it that these stories are always on the last page of the newspaper? Well, sex, violence, and dispute sell, that's unfortunate. What was one of the main reasons al-Qaeda attacked us? They don't want our culture to infect their culture. What do they think our culture is? They think Western values are what Hollywood and the media portrays. There's so much truth to this, ask girls that have been to the Middle East if they were ever frisked. A lot of times they are, ya know why? Because they think all American girls are like the Hollywood girls. Gosh, it really bothers me. Before my mission Glenn Beck did something on how much he can't stand Hollywood and then told a story of a woman in Russia who was trying to get a hold of al-Qaeda and convince them to not do attacks on DC, but on Hollywood. Beck was being funny about this so he polled his listeners and asked them, "What should we do about this? Give her the chair, stone her, lock her away for 15 years, or pat her on the back and say, hey, I think you're on to something?" He then went off and said that we should sell Hollywood and San Francisco to China and that we would even build gold walls around the cities to please everyone there. That was funny. Let's see, where was I going with this? Well, the point is, is that America is the greatest, most selfless nation in the world's history. Proof? Did we ask for any land when we liberated Europe? Only enough land to bury our dead. Did we take over Japan's resources and impose our way of life on them? No, we wrote them a constitution, yes, but we gave them democracy and helped them build up their economy. America is the most giving country in the world, as far as dollars, time, and blood.

Ok, so back to that reconciliation thing I was talking about. The media and liberals tell us conservatives that we don't care about the poor. Completely false, in fact the opposite can be made. What's the best example of taking liberalism to the extreme? Communist Russia. Not the best example of the goodness of socialism when the end result is the death of millions citizens, mostly the poor. My point is not to rag on liberalism, but to defend conservatism, helping people help themselves is the best way to go. That is conservatism.

I'm taking a poli sci capstone class which requires us to do a big research project on a topic. Here's what I'm researching: The socialization of violence, and specifically corporal punishment in the classroom, contributes to political violence. In Uganda we did the teacher training thing where we talked to teachers about why they shouldn't beat students and such. I've been wanting to start a NGO and focus on this teacher training aspect of it because teachers really believe that beating students is the only way to disciplnie them. What I'm trying to do with my project is link this socialization of violence with political violence. Hopefully it'll be really convincing and then I can use it in my NGO.

Anyway, I'm really just thinking and writing right now. Kind of disconnected thoughts, but that's the way I think sometimes. I just really want to help people, I want to go back to Uganda. I want to see the world, and see how other people live. One person can change the world, one person at a time, one idea at a time. Baby steps. The motivations have to be in the right place, and sometimes I struggle with that, I think everyone does. It's just part of who we are, but I think that's part of the coming to Christ process and submitting your will to His. It's just tough figuring out what His will for you actually is...I hope to find it soon hopefully and then do it 110%.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


We watched more of the documentary about the Rwandan genocide in class today. It told the story of Monique (I think that's her name). She hid in a church with 5,000 other Tutsis. The governor of her province came into the church and said that everybody must be killed. The Hutu extremists started killing with machetes and guns. There was so much blood on her that when she hid under the bodies of the dead, one extremist kicked her and said, "this one's dead." She stayed in the church for the next 43 days, keeping the dogs off her dead friends and family, watching the bodies rot in front of her, because that was the safest place for her to be.

Yesterday night I was stressed about life such as my future, my career, school, etc. I wonder what Monique thought about when she was in there.

I am scum.

Monday, February 04, 2008


In my dream last night I was in Israel with lots of my friends up here. We were kidnapped by Palestinian extremists. Mitt Romney was the president. We overheard conversations they were having about where they were going to kill us, the place was called Badj. So we wikipedia'd it and then I emailed the info to my Romney contacts as my friends distracted our kidnappers. It was kind of a stressful dream. Why did I dream that?! There are much better things to dream about right now.

Today we started watching a documentary in my civil wars class about the Genocide in Rwanda. Gosh, it's so hard to watch that, especially after being there. Some of my thoughts about it were written in my blog already, so I decided to repost some of those thoughts and experiences I had.

Ok, so Wednesday I decided that I wanted to take one of my vacation days and go to Rwanda. So I came home and told everyone I was going, 3 other girls wanted to go as well. I think the country directors were a little upset with my spontaneous plans, but they ok’d it. So after Parliament we emailed, went to the market, and then to the bus park. Our bus didn’t leave until 3 AM, so we waited on some stairs. I couldn’t sleep, so I just read. I slept til 8:00 on the bus. I had a weird dream about privatization…because of all the government talk I heard that week. We didn’t get to Rwanda until 11:00, but wow, it was an amazing drive. Rwanda is gorilla country and called the “land of a thousand hills.” Uganda is called the “pearl of Africa.” I took several pictures, but the pictures really don’t do justice to the beauty of that country. South Uganda and especially Rwanda is amazingly beautiful. There are lush green mountains, lots of different types of trees and vegetation. There were really low clouds that day. I guess it was mist, but it was so thick and very white. There are all types of green on the mountains in the trees with terraces up the mountains. The valleys are where everything is grown, so the people live up the mountains. Gosh, it’s just such a beautiful country. It’s sad that such a beautiful country has such a bad history.

So we arrived in the capital-Kigali. It was fun switching from driving on the left side of the road (in Uganda) to the right (in Rwanda). We didn’t have plans, so we decided to just go see the things we wanted to see. 2 of the girls spoke French fluently, so I didn’t have to use my little French that much. We went to the Hotel des Milles Collines which was the hotel in the movie “Hotel Rwanda.” I’m going to watch that again when I get back. But during the genocide in 1994, this hotel saved many Tutsis from being killed. We went to the American Embassy to get some adoption information (one of the girls is looking to adopt a Rwandan kid). Then we went to a restaurant called La Sierra that advertised Chinese and Indian Cuisine. There was a supermarket in the back that had some amazingly good pizzas! We talked with the owner, who is of Indian descent, and is Canadian. We had a great chat with him and then he asked if we wanted to stay at his house that night. So we ran to the Genocide Memorial Centre. They had so much info on the history behind the conflicts between the Hutus and Tutsis, the problems the European powers caused, details behind the genocide, and how the country is recovering. They had a room of thousands of pictures and names of people that were killed, a room of just clothes from the people, and a room of skulls, femurs, and other bones. It was weird to see that the clothes had Spiderman, Nike, and other modern things that reminded me how recent the genocide was. Outside they had graves of 250,000 people (I think). The thing is, is that they were mass gravesites cemented over. There was a room with all the genocides that have happened in the past 100 plus years. There are several that are really recent: Darfur, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, and Rwanda. On our way back to the restaurant we talked with Willy. Willy is 26 now. He left Rwanda after the genocide. He is a Tutsi and all of his brothers and sisters (6 I think) and father were killed. He and his mom moved to Uganda until things were safe for them to return.

So Elnoor, our Canadian friend took us to his house. Wow! It was a really nice place. He brought back lots of food, including Indian food, lots of fruit, and European cheese! He went back to his restaurant so us 4 just chilled for several hours. We watched tv (BBC news), skimmed through some books, took showers (hot showers), and slept. I got to sleep in a huge double bed, it was great. Elnoor is such a nice guy, we were a little nervous at first, but everything was perfect. So while we were there, he gave us a tour of his house, there is a lot of important history that happened there. Ok, so in 1994, the Hutu government had been planning this genocide of the Tutsi. President Haryama (sp?) was killed, (we’re not sure who killed him, but some say Hutus planned it to blame the Tutsis). They then stormed the prime minister’s (a Tutsi) house (Elnoor’s house), killed 10 UN guards and killed the prime minister and her husband. The kids were able to escape in the back by climbing the walling into the UN compound. After that they proceeded killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The government used much propaganda, especially the radio, to encourage Hutus all over the country to kill their neighbors, friends, and family. Within a week all foreigners were escorted out of the country by soldiers who were flown in to escort them out. I read that if all the soldiers who were brought in would have stayed in the country they could have prevented the genocide. The UN would not allow its peacekeepers to fight and countries refused to do anything about this because there was confusion about what genocide actually is and they considered it to just be internal conflicts and not of their concern. So from April to July 1994 one million people were killed. One Rwandan refugee escaped to the US and tried convincing Congress and the Clinton Administration to do something, one Congressman replied, “The US does not have friends, just interests, Rwanda is not among our interests.” So yeah, we stayed in the same house as the prime minister when she was killed that was a significant event in the conflict.

The next morning we went to Saint Famille Church (the bad church) and Saint Paul’s Pastoral Centre (the good church). It was hard for me to visit the bad church because for me, the absolute worst part of the whole thing was that Tutsis thought they would be safe in the Churches, but many pastors were in agreement with the government, sold out their congregations, and let them be killed. This church was one of the more famous ones because it is right in the center of Kigali, but it happened with many churches all over the country. In the good church the pastor saved his congregation. So after visiting those churches we caught our bus back to Kampala. That was the bumpiest ride ever. Our seats were in the very back which made every bump huge. I was able to read the whole time, so that was nice.
I’ll never forget being in Rwanda, seeing the faces of people who experienced so much. Many had wounds, many had family members and friends who were killed, and many were killers themselves. It was just so terrible, lifelong neighbors, lifelong friends, and even family members killed one another. It is a miracle that the country is still together and is doing as well as it is (the economy is doing better than Uganda’s), Kigali is such a nice big city, scattered over several hills, well ordered, flowers everywhere, very clean…all in such a big contrast to Kampala. I just wish I clearly say all that I was thinking and feeling while I was in Rwanda. I just can’t imagine everything happening like it did, but all the happened was not a movie, it was real life. This was government-sponsored and the rest of the world just let it happened. Shouldn’t that be government’s number one purpose- to protect its people? Genocide should not be allowed to happen. Things like this really make me want to just go out and change the world.
I won’t ever forget Rwanda.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The word 'Just'

I just say that word way too much. I write the way I talk, and so I use that word just way too much in my writing as well. So here's what I'm just going to do. I am imposing conversational and writing sanctions on that word. I will not have conversational or writing relations with that word. I am going to just try my best to not use that word in conversation and in writing. I'm not sure how long I'll do it, but I just need to decrease my interactions with that word. I need people to remind me as well. So if you're reading this and one day you and I are talking and I renew ties to that word, please gently remind me that using that word is against my policy and I should reconsider my actions. I maintain sovereignty over myself so I can still break that policy to my choosing. I request you to not use social sanctions against me nor cohersive means to fulfill your interests. It's true that we live in a socially anarchial state, where you nor I can request cohersion from a higher authority, but violent specialists control this country and have a monopoly on violence. Based on a cost-benefit analysis, it would be detrimental to your own sovereignty to break this agreement that you and I are now establishing. goes both ways. :)

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