I just finally finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I say finally because I started it back in February when I was in Arizona, but I didn't have time to finish it and for some reason I didn't bother to try to finish it when I got home. Then about a month ago I checked it out from the library (not buying it-trying to reduce my "carbon footprint") and it sat on my bookshelf until a couple of days ago.
Why it took me so long to get back into I don't know, because it really is a fantastic book. This is the kind of writing I love because, without going overboard, Hosseini describes the setting and the events so vividly that I felt like I could feel the intense summer heat and hear the music in the streets myself.
It's also one of those books that doesn't necessarily dull my feelings toward my desire to travel the world, but does remind me that America is just one of many different types of cultures with different procedures, policies, and ways of life. The glamor of the architecture, unknown foods, exotic clothes, etc. should not blind tourists (as inevitably I would be although I hate that label) from the realities of people's everyday lives and what not only the women portrayed through the characters in this book, but war refugees as well, have to endure.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
A couple of weeks ago I started actively playing fantasy soccer through fifa.com. I really like soccer, but the grand prize for the overall winner is two tickets, including travel and accomodations, to the 2010 World Cup games South Africa, so that clinched my participation. I don't have much experience at picking teams and such, but I think i'm getting the hang of it. I'm confident that I have a chance to win, even though (or maybe especially because) my current ranking is 249th. This is either good or bad, but it's early and I have the sinking feeling that these early rankings don't amount to much in the grand scheme of things. I've been telling people that i'm going to the 2010 world cup since the last one in 2006, so i'd really like to avoid the humiliation of trying to come up with new creative reasons why i'm sitting around watching the games with every one else at a bar in metro detroit. In any case, I have a plan b (use the year and a half I have left to save the money), and a plan c (take out a loan, maybe), but I think a plan c and possibly d may be needed, especially if they involve minimal spending on my part. I am open to ideas...
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I've been trying to figure what i'm going to do with this anthropology degree and I think i've finally got it. Getting my masters in international development sounds like the most appealing option so far. I was already toying with this possibility when I was introduced to the book "Getting Stoned with Savages" by J. Maarten Troost. He basically examines his decision to leave corporate America for Fiji (and elsewhere) and describes his journey with his wife who works in... international development! His account did not necessarily glamorize their life in third world circumstances, but boy did it sound appealing to me. Now, I haven't actually been anywhere like this before, but i'm more than ready to get my feet wet. Does studying abroad for my masters sound like a good start?