Monday, January 31, 2011

Who'll stop the rain

Greetings!! I have been back at St. Michael's for two weeks now and I am starting my third week of classes today. I think that I am finally back in the general swing of things, and I wanted to tell you all about the Student Global AIDS Campaign conference that I went to this past weekend. The Student Global AIDS Campaign (or SGAC) is dedicated to fighting and preventing global HIV/AIDS. Held at Harvard, more than eighty students attended the two day conference, ten from St. Michael's. Cambridge is a beautiful area and I was more than happy to make the trip. We took down one van and my professor and fellow SMC Blogger, Trish Siplon, drove.

At the conference we learned ways to build power, about strategizing and how to recruit more SGAC members. It was so exciting to be around so many students from big name universities who care about the same issues as us. What was even more great is that even amongst schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Darmouth, St. Michael's is looked at as one of the most active and successful SGAC chapters in the United States. I feel honored to be a part of this group and so proud of all of the hardworking students that earned St. Michael's that title.

I learned more about global AIDS and the specific numbers that activists are looking for in President Obama's budget, which comes out next week. Global AIDS funding is going to be cut and the many people worldwide who depend on this money are going to suffer. There are many players in this battle and the stakes are extremely high. If you want to learn more about HIV/Aids this website is an excellent resource: . Thanks for listening, I hope that everyone can find a cause that they are passionate about and others who agree!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Long as I can see the light.

Hello and happy 2011!! I have been dreading writing this post, which is probably obvious because it has been almost a month since I have last written from the Miami airport. In these three weeks I have gone to the great NYC to see Jersey Boys with my friend, Eileen. Christmas has come and gone and I have even managed to catch up with friends from home and my best friends from St. Michael's.

It's strange that study abroad has been over for more than three weeks and I miss it. I miss the mountains in Cusco and the rainforest filled with delicious mangoes. I accidentally speak Spanish to people more times than I would like to admit. Hot showers are almost too good to be true and the strongest feelings of culture shock came to me in Hallmark. A whole store devoted to cards just seems silly to me now. I miss the people that I lived with for almost four months and it's weird that I can't see them everyday. It feels like summer vacations without the reassurance that this experience will be recreated in four months. So, I guess it's harder than I am used to.

In order to deal with these things I have been making a lot of lists of things that I want to do in 2011. I am pretty happy with 2010, the whole live-in-Peru-thing for four months made it pretty unique. Since it would be quite difficult to study abroad again some things that I have been planning to include hiking more, learning to knit, running a half marathon, and perhaps visiting my friend who is studying in Spain. Who knows? It's a new year, anything is possible.