Friday, November 4, 2011

Peace journalism student readies for Jordan

The article below is about Andria Enns, who traveled with me on a short term study abroad program to Uganda in the summer of 2010 on a Peace Journalism mission. Congratulations, Andrea, on this great honor.

Next step: Jordan (click here for full article)
By Rob Roberts-- Lee's Summit Journal

"Andria Enns, a junior at Park University from Lee’s Summit, is getting to see lots of the world she wants to change through better communication.

Enns, who is majoring in public relations and broadcasting, will be leaving next month for a nearly month-long stay in Amman, Jordan, most of which is being financed through grants from the Creative Learning foundation and United Planet. In August, Enns was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from America’s Unofficial Ambassadors, a Creative Learning initiative aimed at enhancing the capacity of local organizations around the world to improve lives in their communities. More recently, she won the $2,000 grand prize in the 2011 United Planet Day Contest for an essay she wrote about her 2010 trip to Uganda, where she worked on a peace journalism project. In Jordan, Enns will work for Friends of the Global Fund, a nonprofit organization aiming to end malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Toward those ends, she will be writing grant proposals, creating marketing materials and doing video journalism."

Andi's essays (blogs) about Uganda were outstanding. You can click here to see her blog, which is incredibly insightful. Of everything Andi wrote about Uganda and Peace Journalism, this was my favorite:

"Today was the first day on the trip that I felt angry. I have been enamored with the friendliness of the people, the beauty of the land, the differences of – well – everything! I’m not even sure what I’ve eaten, I just take what I’m handed. But I’m not just angry with the corruption that dominates the lives of Ugandans. I am angry – maybe even more angry – about life in America. (Photo-Andi Enns and friend in Uganda)

In America, we throw everything away because it costs us more (or so we say) to reuse and recycle than to just get a new one. Paper plates, plastic bottles, soda cans. Ugandans use everything over and over. Trash cans aren’t a common sight – there is very little to throw away. Glass soda pop bottles are recycled. Dishes are ceramic. Clothes are used within an inch of their life.

More than angry even, I am ashamed. I am embarrassed that I ever complained about living in Dearing. It’s a paradise compared to what the average Ugandan lives in. In Dearing, I have as much clean water and hot water as I want, reliable electricity, indoor plumbing that always works, air conditioning, constant internet… I probably can’t name all of the things I took for granted. Those things aren’t all present in the nicest hotel in Fort Portal. Imagine going to a hotel in the States and even one of those items missing. You, and admittedly I, would throw a fit. Unimaginable that even the Motel 6 not have hot water or wireless internet.

We live in opulence. And we complain about it. We are so self-centered.

Let me rephrase. I am so self-centered. I am so immature. I am so ungrateful."

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