Tuesday, September 02, 2008

accents, aid, arrogance & arrivals

i am never going to be comfortable with the way the bbc reporters pronounce new or-lee-ins. same with hirosh-ima. being native to neither of these countries, i am not sure that my way of pronounciation is correct either.

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i wish i was in accra, ghana this week for the 3rd high level forum on aid effectiveness. i wrote my master dissertation on the ineffectiveness of foreign aid and it was a bit of a downer to research how foreign aid hasn't worked without coming up with a whole lot of new ideas of how aid could be effective. then i moved to kenya and my job was funded by that same foreign aid and i am no more convinced that any development actually results from all the money spent, especially in kenya.

i still believe in foreign aid, development, and humanitarian relief, if that is something to believe in, but it is rather difficult to reconcile my belief that foreign aid should continue and increase with the knowledge that it hasn't been effective in pulling most of africa out of poverty. i am not ready to give up on my belief just yet and am interested to see what comes out of this 'high level forum.'

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i found this quote and it finally sums up what i have felt about the travellers' arrogance that drives me batty. especially when it comes from canadians, which it does more often than others, in my opinion.
We wish to learn all the curious, outlandish ways of all the different countries, so that we can 'show off' and astonish people when we get home. We wish to excite the envy of our untraveled friends with our strange foreign fashions which we can't shake off. All our passengers are paying strict attention to this thing, with the end in view which I have mentioned. The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad.
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad
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my mom arrives tomorrow for a visit!

1 comment:

K said...

I think we can all agree, however, that you would likely sound like a big douche pronouncing it "n'awlins", which is how I believe they pronounce it in the land of beignets and bayou.