Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Questions by Petunia

It's the blog version of the email chain letter!

It's interactive and very simple. To get it started, here are the five answers to the questions I have been asked by Avitable. If you want to participate, just read the instructions at the bottom!

1. How is my blog (Avitable) not banned in a conservative area like the Sudan?
Well, you see, here in Southern Sudan we are not ruled by Sharia law like Darfur or North Sudan, the majority of the population is not Muslim, and there are no restrictions on the internet. Yipee!!! I could watch porn all day long if I wanted. However, I do make it a point to not read your blog at work, seeing that my Sudanese colleagues would probably lose all respect they might have had for me for seeing the word "pussies" on my screen. Although I do sometimes mention similar subjects in my blog...

2. What has been the biggest challenge for you as a blogger?
Trying to strike a balance between a) making sure I write about how I am doing personally as well as things that happens in every day life to connect with friends and family in a way I would not otherwise be able to do over the phone or mass emails (I like the fact that this is MY space and not an email going out to 30 people), and b) not completely giving away my personal/work identity on the internet. I'm paranoid, plus I want to be able to write freely and not have it be associated with the organization I work with.

3. How does a Petunia keep from wilting in the hot sun?
SPF 55, my friend. It's either that or go with the Angelina Jolie-aid-worker-chic look with lots of flowing linen apparel and floppy hats. Which, let's face it, I can't pull off. Plus, linen gets really really wrinkled. I'm more of a cargo pants and chacos type of gal.

4. What was the reaction in the Sudan to Obama's election?
I was actually going to write a whole blog post about this to follow up on my pre-election post, and it just slipped off of my radar. So here are some observations:

I was actually in Kenya during the presidential elections, where everyone went CRAZY - people were crying in the streets, the President declared the Thursday after the election to be a federal holiday - "Obama Day" where people just partied. Actually, Uganda had 2 days off, and the Democratic Republic of Congo had 5, that's right 5, days off for a federal holiday in Obama's name. Obama is called a "son of Africa." Southern Sudan declared a one day federal holiday "in solidarity with Kenya" - not the US, mind you!- which I found quite amusing.

There are TONS of Obama hats, Obama tshirts, and even an Obama restaurant that have popped up in Juba. My favorite tshirt is one that was being sold by the Indian-run supermarket that had a picture of Obama and a caption that said "Barack Obama. The World's Greatest Black Hope." Um, seriously??? That's absolutely awful. But how could I not buy it?

To sum up how people feel, here is the status message on Skype of a Kenyan colleague of mine which is still up a month later: "1st black US president, makes you wonder why you cant aim for the stars."

5. How can you survive without television?
I actually don't like television. When I watch it everything else around me ceases to exist and I am sucked into the vortex of the moving pictures on the little screen. People can talk to me and I won't hear them. If I'm in a restaurant and there's a tv on, I have to intentionally sit with my back to the tv so I don't morph into an antisocial zombie.

Anyway, I'm not a huge fan. Never have been, really. Could be the result of growing up in a parental-induced cave which shielded me from anything pop-culture related besides Sesame Street, the Beatles, and some Bruce Springsteen and U2. I've never had a tv in my room in my life, and don't plan on it. In fact, the camp that I live at provided a tv in my room (with no tv service, but they thought that if they put a tv in my room it was showing that they were making progress. HA!!!) but I asked them to take it away again. It just sits there, a big grey mass, and messes up the vibe of my place. Yes, I am partially a hippie.

That's all folks!

Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

I'll interview anyone who comments and wants to participate.

1 comment:

Avitable said...

Great answers - thanks for participating!