Today was definitely a Grade A day. It was packed, to be sure, but definitely eventful. After the delish paella-filled “last supper”with my family at La Tasca yesterday night, I had to say a tearful goodbye to them this morning. Since they departed early, I was up a bit earlier than usual and managed to hit the gym before my morning class. After a much-needed sweat session (did I mention the paella?), I sat through a couple of interesting classes and a seminar meeting before making it to the highlight of my day (or week, for that matter): Dambisa Moyo! Sadly, I somehow forgot my camera at home so I could only sneak a few shots with my iPhone. Thank God for the integration of cameras into phones — what would we ever do without them? (How would we ever tweet without them?!)
Watch Moyo discuss her position with Alison Evans of ODI:
Dambisa, who inspired a lot of my critical thinking on the topic of aid, joined us on campus at the LSE today to give a lecture/book talk on Dead Aid: Why aid isn’t working and how there is another way for Africa. I found her book to be a great read, partly because it inspired some real challenges to the current aid system and also partially because her passion for the topic clearly comes through in her writing. Her passion was also apparent tonight in her lecture — her points were clear, concise and she was incredibly charming; she definitely kept the crowd interested from the first minute until the last. She is definitely an inspiration of a woman: well-educated, beautiful, well-dressed and wonderfully articulate. I think it would be amazing (and quite a draw) if LSE (or any other nearby institution for that matter: Oxford or Cambridge, perhaps?) could set up a panel for a real discussion/debate on the topic to bring the competing ideologies to the forefront. Perhaps Dambisa Moyo & Bill Easterly vs. Paul Collier & Jeffrey Sachs? I feel as though I am a little biased as of now — I have digested Moyo’s material (quite voraciously, I might add), am half-way through Easterly’s book and have only brushed through Sach’s work (and an MTV Diary version of his travels). I’m familiar with Sach’s point of views, but seeing as how I lean towards Team Easterly, I think I need to be a bit more receptive to hearing both sides of the argument so I can better pick my arguments.
After leaving the Old Theatre on a happy note, I got home to discover that my 500GB portable external hard drive that I ordered on Sunday had already arrived! I could not be more happy with Amazon right now; I was able to order it in five minutes flat, got free standard shipping and still had it delivered within two days! As of this moment, I’m backing up my LSE documents along with my 19,250 pictures that I apparently have on my computer… nearly 20,000. Excessive! I’m a ridiculous picture-taker, but I can’t wean myself off of it! Pictures are all you really have to show people from a trip (since you can’t very well show them your memories), so I snap-snap-snap them everywhere I go.
Also, to top off the night, we finally celebrated Fon’s 24th birthday at our flat with real flatmate time & some cake! Mmm!
Definitely a fun-filled, action-packed day… just another day in Shannonland.
Catch up with you all tomorrow! Tickets for Joseph Stiglitz’s ‘Freefall’ go on offer at 10A!