Liebster Award

January 13, 2013

A fellow Fulbright ETA in Austria and Albion College alumnae, Sarah J, just nominated for this spiffy “Liebster Award”. I take this to be an honor and a pseudo-interview of all my favorite bloggers. The rules for nomination are as follows:
liebster-award11

-“When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you.”
-“Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (make sure you tell them you nominated them!) and ask them 11 questions.”
-“You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated you!”
-“Make sure the blogs you chose have 200 or LESS followers” (Yay for the little guys!)

Here are my questions for my nominees:

1)Where in the world would you live for 3 years if you could (job and logistics aside)?

2)What is the most overlooked flaw in American culture?

3)Has a specific relationship (platonic, romantic, teacher-student or otherwise) changed the way you look at other people? How?

4)Is there anything that you want to change in your current situation? What’s stopping you?

5)Are you a cat or dog person?

6) Is there a person or quote that you live by/revisit frequently?

7)Name a good movie that you watched lately.

8)If you are in a bad mood, what’s a foolproof way to get out of it?

9)What thing that makes your life more comfortable could you not live without?

10)If you have the choice, do you prefer to stay in for the evening (usually decked out in pajamas) or to socialize out in the world?

11)Is there one thing that you use daily that you think will become obsolete in the next 10 years?

So! Here are the answers to Sarah J’s questions:
1) What is your greatest accomplishment, to date?

My greatest accomplishment? I really don’t feel like I have accomplished much except to try and get myself more educated through travel and figure out exactly what I think is feasible for me to accomplish in the future. I’m only planning my life for 6 months in the future, at this point, with the hope that I can find a niche and REALLY accomplish something.
2) What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I am midway through “The Shadow of the Sun” by Ryszard Kapuściński, a polish journalist. The book is an excellent chronicle of ‘real journalism’ (wait, there’s a major conflict in Kampala? Let’s go!) during the independence period of most African countries. His writing style includes a wonderful mix of reporting actual events and Walden/Thoreau-style description of culture and place during the tumultuous post-Independence epoch. His chapter on Rwanda is particularly informative and offers one of the most concise and clear writings of one of the main theories concerning the historical conflicts of the country.
3) What is something you wish people understood about you?

This is always a tough question that involves a lot of self-understanding. I think more often than not, I can come across as cold or unfeeling when people divulge certain sensitive things about themselves to me. I don’t mean to come across as such, I am constantly over concerned with pushing or asking too many questions in such situations. I also know that often, I just want someone to listen to my own silly issues without trying to fix them. So, I try to listen and mull the problem in my own head before letting out useless advice. Unfortunately, I think I stay silent for too long and seem as though I am not listening. This is quite the opposite and I hope my friends who have opened up to me, realize this.
4) What is your favorite holiday memory as a child/as an adult?

My favorite holiday memory occurred in my late teens. Per usual, my immediate family gathered round the living room on the morning of Christmas day.  One of my baby  nephew’s gifts had been mislabeled with my name and placed under the over-decorated tree. As a quite snarky, and know-it-all teen, I was quite hoping to unveil some trendy shirt or cool electronic device. Instead, a light blue one-sie appeared out of the well-wrapped package. My initial dismay turned to horror as I thought my parents were hinting at a certain future that I was not ready to take.

My family got a good laugh out of my reaction.
5) What was the most odd or interesting topic of conversation you’ve had lately?

I recently had a conversation (or rather, I listened) about Agroecology, an organic and much more sustainable approach to producing nutritious and environmentally friendly food. It’s approach serves two purposes: to revitalize lost nutrients in the soil and to also re-enforce the self-confidence of  impoverished farmers who often already use these practices. The practice is attempting to be established by an NGO in Rwanda but could be well-used in the US and other agro-giants.
6) Where is your next dream vacation and what would you do there?

Traveling has been on my mind a lot lately, given my new African home for the past few months, but I still would love to travel and go hiking in New Zealand. It looks like a magical place (with or without Hobbits) and seems like a great place to do a low budget hiking trip with some pals (I’m excluding airfare, of course)

7) Answer this question: “if you wanted to spoil me rotten, you would…:”

Give me your Star Alliance miles or an Around the World ticket so I can travel to more cool places.
8) What five words describe you best?

Bookish-Adventurous- Searching-Naive-Lazy

9) What would your perfect night out look like?

A perfect night out would include: my close group of girlfriends from home, really good, filling food paired with large margaritas, and some sort of debauchery; be it dancing the night away, climbing places we shouldn’t, camping in beautiful places, or taking over a public establishment with our loud eccentricities.
10) What is your favorite post/piece of writing?

“A Letter to My Son, Thom” by John Steinbeck. I don’t remember where I found this letter (and this is not the original form that I came across it in) but I’ve always found the honesty of this letter fascinating. Here’s a link posted by The Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/01/john-steinbeck-on-falling-in-love-a-1958-letter/251375/

11) What made you laugh today?

Yesterday (sorry, today has been a bit slow and reclusive), I met with a group of Peace Corps volunteers here in Rwanda. I discovered that one had graduated from my alma mater in 2004 and had majored in English (one of my majors). We also discovered that we knew exactly where each other lived in Southwest Michigan. The world is a small place indeed!

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