Wednesday, 25 May 2011

For My Grandfather

So I admit, I've been awful at updating this in the past few months. As I'm sure you all can understand, life can get very very busy and you tend to become so engrossed in the big picture that you forget the small things. As with all things, though, the small things in life are the ones worth living for. I forgot how important this blog was for keeping my friends and family back home updated on my life. I'm sorry for keeping you in the dark for so long. Trust me, you didn't miss much. Just a bunch of reading, writing, hanging with friends and traveling a bit. However, what seem like small things to me are actually pretty exciting when you take a step back and these small things are all a part of making me who I am. I hear that my Grandfather has been asking when I'd update my blog. I apologize, I've been negligent. So, here it is...this one's for you, Grampy! I hope you enjoy it!

A throwback picture to nearly 5 years ago of me and Grampy!

It almost feels like I've been absent from this blog for 5 years. You know that feeling when you start exercising again and it's hard to move your muscles because they've been so inactive? That's what it feels like to come back to blogging, except my mind seems rusty. I'm so used to thinking about things in an academic sense that when I step away and come back to something more freestyle, I'm confused. I've been ruined by academia. As I sit here thinking about how to write about this semester, I'm struggling because I keep asking myself, "Where's the intro? The research question? The theoretical framework?" Ruined indeed. Perhaps for the better.

This semester has been such a whirlwind that I don't even know where to begin. Instead of attempting to describe it all to you, I'll explain it mostly in pictures.

Shortly after starting the new semester, I took a trip to Rome with a few friends. I had never been there before and it we had a great time! We also stopped off in Lyon, France on the way home. It was SO nice to be back in France. I really really missed it. Here are a few pictures from that trip:

The Trevi Fountain

Me in front of the colosseum 

Not too long after returning from Rome, I took a fieldwork trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina with my professor and the other members of my course. It was definitely a very eye-opening experience, to say the least. After 2 long layovers and 3 flights, including a small propeller plane, we arrived in snowy Sarajevo. Throughout our trip, we interview local NGOs as well as other large international and government organizations in ordet to get a feel for the current situation in post-war Bosnia. We each had our own area of study, around which we formed our questions and set up interviews. My area of study was human trafficking in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. To tell you the truth, BiH hasn't moved too far past the ethnic divisons that created the war in the first place. When we were there, they didn't even have a seated government because the factions couldn't agree and one part of the country was boycotting. Because of this, large human security issues such as human trafficking are often lost in the shuffle. It was a challenging, frustrating and devastatingly sad experience on the one hand, but on the other hand, there were many hopeful moments. It was an awesome trip and I learned a ton! Here are a few pictures:

A women's march in old town Sarajevo on the first Sunday of our trip

The Bosnian Parliament

A snowy night in Sarajevo!

A stop on the way to Mostar

A destroyed building hidden by flowers in Mostar, Bosnia's most divided city

Mostar Bridge: knocked down during the war and recently rebuilt

one of thousands of cemeteries in Bosnia

Since Bosnia, I have been very busy doing school work. This second half of the semester has been incredibly hectic. However, I have still been able to get away a bit. I went down to England for our spring break with a few friends and stayed in a beautiful country estate (compliments of my friend Hannah)! Here are some other pictures from this semester:

Birtles Hall, where we stayed

In front of Pemberley, the place where the BBC Pride & Prejudice was filmed :)

A quick trip to Anstruther when Maggie visited

and of course...the Royal Wedding took over St Andrews for the week...

For those of you who thought I disappeared...I did not. Life just got in the way. I may not post as often in the future but I will try to update more frequently than once every 5 months! :)

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