I just finished watching Andy Carvin’s compelling short film, “Refugees: The Liberians of Buduburam.” Wow. I am not sure where to begin writing about my response to this.

Let me start by noting the chain of connections and links that led me to this video. Yesterday on a long car drive back to Lubbock, we listened to an excellent podcast from Global Voices Online. Global Voices is a fantastic organization serving as a feed river for bloggers and their voices / perspectives across the planet. On the post The Balkans: “Finally, the Post-Milosevic Era” I found a link to Henry Shepherd’s post “Seesaw,” Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and read my way to his homepage. His sidebar includes a link to Radio Open Source, a fantastic looking global radio show I had not heard about, which I visited briefly and social bookmarked under a new topic for me, “new media.” His post Saturday afternoon reflection included a link to Tri Repetae, a UN worker who is blogging from Liberia. The name of this blog is Tri Repetae, the blogger is actually a man named Reid who is “a Military Observer for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).” I remember hearing back in January that Liberia has the first female African president, but her task is formidable with the nation’s legacy of violence combined with its devastated infrastructure and economy. I remember the same TV news segment talked about Liberia being an African country founded by former US slaves. That is about all I know about Liberia.

So, when I saw the link to Andy Carvin’s Film on Refugees in Reid’s blog sidebar, I clicked it right away– since a short digital story can be a fast way to gain a new perspective. I was right.

I had to create a new blog category, “globalvoices,” because this post really can’t just be limited to digitalstorytelling. Many thanks to Andy for putting this short video together.

I have several responses running through my head, but a few quick ones are:

  • Most U.S. citizens probably have little idea of how fortunate and blessed they are to live in a country and community that has not known civil war and all the horrors as well as sacrifices related to civil war for over 100 years. We should count our blessings.
  • It is so important for us as global citizens to be connected to each other via the blogosphere. That is why I think the Global Voices website and project is so important.
  • Whenever students are studying a particular country in the world, they should be encouraged to use the Global Voices website to listen and interact with people who are blogging about current issues in and around that nation. This should be a big part of what engaged learning in the 21st century is all about.
  • How silly some of the whining of schools and school districts can seem, about not having enough money for technology, when you view that economic reality with a global perspective.
  • How important the One Laptop Per Child project is. I was wondering yesterday, driving in the car, who is going to write the curriculum for that project? Clearly, a large collaborative team will. But shouldn’t a major part of the project’s educational focus be to empower more people to add their voices to the Global Voices Online feed river? I think so. I don’t know where I will end up working in the upcoming fall, but wherever it is, I am certain I will be encouraging educators and students at all levels to become active listeners and idea sharers in our global village. The blogosphere offers an opportunity to do just that, while developing a host of literacy skills, that is unprecedented in human history.

The informational environment has changed in fundamental ways, my friends. And I’m glad to be here with you at this moment in time, on our ever-shrinking planet earth. 🙂

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On this day..

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One Response to Liberian Refugees and Bloggers

  1. Henry Shepherd says:

    Hi,

    Searching for one’s name on Google is vain, yes, but sometimes it turns up worthwhile things. So, thank you very much for reading my blog. If you’d like, you can wander over to my blog or send me an email. Tell me about what you are up to, what you are following out there in the wide world.

    Best,

    Henry Shepherd

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