With a little fire in all our bellies but warmth in our hearts

by Anna Blanch on October 10, 2011

Oh Boy, What a week!

In some twist of fate, I had written this entire post only to have it mysteriously replaced by [II] upon saving. Yes, it is indeed the case: technology and I are not friends this week.

So, if perchance (i love that word) you happen to lurk around the Goannatree facebook page you would already know about the ills and travails of the great ‘crashing of the laptop of 2011‘  What you really need to know is that thanks to a department colleague and @adamswbrown my data is all backed up and safe, and although I thought a new internal harddrive would fix the problem, i’m still having blue screen of death moments and weird error messages.

My colleague used linux and magically (in so far as i can’t explain it) retrieved the last vestiges of the data on the harddrive including no less than 37gb of photographs [yep, well there’s a photographer right there…]. Like that photo to the left…which I’ve included cause i like it. alot. But, anywho…Mary is still being rather finickty – i like that word – finickity.

<weird academic joke aside> I call her Mary, the laptop that is, because she, having had a harddrive transplant and possibly requiring a brain transplant, is resembling more and more the Bride of Frankenstein – Mary Shelley having written Frankenstein. </aside>

Yes, indeed, Mary is still kinda glitchy. I couldn’t have lived without my smartphone this week nor the friends who were so generous in helping me with something that messes with my writing productivity. Let’s rewind to the beginning of the week then, shall we?

Monday night – I met and talked with Sarah Brown following her talk in St Andrews about her new bookBehind the black door.” Yep, that Sarah Brown: mother, international campaigner, author, and wife of Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of Britain. But seeing as I’m a bad blogger, I have no photos to prove it. I did tweet this just after speaking with her:

In addition to talking about some of the events in her books, Sarah Brown (@SarahBrownUK) spoke passionately about safe motherhood, and the need for continued focus and action on maternal health within the context of the millennium development goals. She shared about the White Ribbon Alliance and it’s work and connections in 152 countries. Did you know that every day, 1,000 girls and women die in pregnancy and childbirth? This is one cause that demands our support. It is a matter of life and death!

I was particularly inspired by her description of the Global Campaign for Education, a project that her husband, Gordon Brown, is quite involved in on an international level. This is the area where my own fire and desire for justice rises up. I desperately want to see all children have access to elementary and secondary education, and though this is something I long to see for both boys and girls I particularly desire for the barriers and obstacles that are placed in front of young girls to be removed. There are many countries and places where young girls are either prevented by rule, economic or safety reasons from accessing education. The work of the Global Campaign for Education is seeing results but there’s still along way to go.

As someone who has benefited immensely from scholarships and realises my good fortune of being born a citizen of a country that offered me the opportunity to be educated, I want to help make people aware of the extent of the lack of opportunity for even basic education in many places. Poverty is incredibly complex and takes many forms. Education is, I’ve long felt, one of the keys to breaking cycles of poverty.

Sarah also spoke about the WIE Network, which serves to bring women leaders and the leaders of the next generation together. This was an event in NYC that Sarah Brown hosted alongside Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff), Donna Karan and Queen Rania of Jordan (@QueenRania) and it sounds incredible. I would love to attend and participate in this or something like it!

At the risk of sounding like a 90’s telemarketer: That’s not all, folks –

TranspositionsLast week I wrote about the Church and the Christian Publishing Industry for Transpositions. That discussion is still ongoing. So, why don’t you head over and join in. Later that same day I received word that my article for ImmerseJournal had been published. This is my first article for them and I’m excited about it. I didn’t get a chance to write about it for Goannatree but it’s about engaging with culture as a spiritual practice (anyone shocked?) In the midst of all of that my fourth Life:Unmasked post went up, titled Like Fireflies in the night and Swallows in the morning.

Finally, should I tell you about my friday evening adventures involving being locked out of the cottage-by-the-sea 20 minutes before my guests were arriving for dinner? Yes? No? [I’m totally fishing for comments with this one].

ps: there was going to be #fail in the title but I thought better of it!

Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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Traveller. Scholar. Photographer. Writer. Dreamer. Teacher. Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland.

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