Monthly Archives: December 2012

Let’s Get Down To Business

Where the whole title came from anyway.

Well, at some point in my life’s journey I just started living with a guy. No, we didn’t date. We hardly even knew each other and somehow we just kind of started living together. You’ll be hearing a lot about him in the coming posts.

Funny thing is, he lives in a 5 star hotel in Beverly Hills. In all reality, that’s where he’s lived for quite some time. His parents are always moving (nothing sketch, I promise) and living in a place like this costs just about as much as leasing a house they would prefer. I won’t name names or places but that’s where I currently reside. We wash our clothes in the bathtub, which the maids must find completely odd. We do our homework in the library (I’m in college, remember?) and last but not least: we eat entirely from our mini fridge and microwave.

Yes, that little fridge that acts as mini-bar at most hotels you go to? That’s our only source of keeping food cold, and a microwave is our only way to heat things up. I’m learning to make some pretty delicious stuff in there, though.

I found myself constantly tweeting what I had for dinner, and realized that I was essentially writing a micro food blog.

And then I realized what a funny convergence this hotel life was with college life. I lived in the dorms for a year and though I had a meal plan, I knew what it was like to live out of a mini fridge and a microwave.

So here we are, mini fridges and microwaves, the completely odd hybrid of hotel and college life and you get a Mandy.

On Volunteering in Africa

I did this thing, call it whimsical or rebellious: I volunteered in Africa. Lord knows I fought for it, too. Despite it being his idea, once he realized the costs associated, my father nearly disowned me for how much I took out of savings to get there. I got there in the end, and it was wonderful and beautiful–but I haven’t fully absorbed the trip just yet.

It shouldn’t take a lot of convincing to tell you that the entire concept of volunteering in third world countries is imperialistic.  I went with a wonderful organization that mostly has its organizational stuff together, but that doesn’t change the nature of being there. I know for a fact that we can send a ton of money to Africa, and that won’t help them as much as economic activity will. I also know that the AIDS epidemic will take generations to heal from, even after the virus has been figured out and eradicated. 

And don’t even remind me that I could have sent someone else or something else more useful for the amount of money I spent. Like I said, part of it was rebellion.

But here’s the deal: it was terrible. The work was wonderful. I was teaching at the village’s two schools (primary and secondary) as well as tutoring individuals and essentially my entire homestay. I was working alongside really awesome Zanzibari students and I saw a huge change in the month that I was there. 

However, I developed a lung disorder that has yet to be cleared up. I had to live with literally the bitchiest girl I’ve ever met. Not to mention, nearly half of the trip was in a sorority or fraternity. People got frustrated when they were told the best thing they could do was teach English despite our idea that we were going to teach HIV/AIDS information I was the only white person who helped out in my homestay. Boys never did their laundry. I could go on. Long story short? They were resume building.

They were there to put it on their resume. I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t planning to do that as well, but it was far from my motive. My motive was an odd mixture of interest in secular (versus missionary) aid work abroad, a deep desire to find out what made people recount Africa with the most amazing, and to get back out in the world. In addition I’d been playing with the thought of teaching, and what better place to practice something than in an overwhelming environment.

But here I am. Most of what I learned about myself is that I don’t handle bitchy roommates well. I also can’t stand when people pretend to know things when they don’t, and I’m damn good at teaching. These are all lessons I probably would’ve gotten by the end of my time at University anyway. 

I’m sure this will come up again, soon.

20 Things To Do In Your 20s

Back-Seam Tights
Back-Seam Tights

20 Things To Do…isn’t that the story of life?

So here I am. I can’t tell you how many journals and websites and blogs and diaries I’ve started. I’ve begun novels and short stories, love poems and suicide notes. I’m starting again.

Why?

Because someone on the internet told me to.

This whole blog craze is going to leave one big footprint on the internet and I figure why not join the journey? I’m joining you bloggers.

I’ll try to keep it limited. Life and food. Those are simple, right?