Well, today felt like two days, and continues to feel that way as I right this at 1:30am my time, 7:30pm EST. It’s just about time for my online Stats class to start (ugh), and pretty much at the moment where I am brain dead from ALL OF THE LEARNING WE DID TODAY! Wow! Today I woke up rather early, because it’s the first day and I wanted to make sure I was there on time. Yesterday, Sunday, I made sure to take my bike out to travel around. The plan was to go grocery shopping, but, every shop is closed on Sunday. So I had a fun interaction at Hans, Im Gluck, which is a burger place that was really wonderful. But anyway, Today was a lot of introductions, but in terms of personal interactions but also the introduction to Development Policy. I think I met people who were from 6 different countries, but in the program there are 16 countries represented. As you may know, I’ll be writing a paper after this program on Displacement Development Policy, so while I’m trying to learn everything, that’s where my focus is going to be.
What is Development? Well, I found that it is a lot of things, but it is also not simply throwing money at a problem and expecting the problem to be solved.
It is a multidimensional concept that talks about human well-being and striving for success in various areas that are determined by the states who are doing development.
Main fields in development can be Good Governance, Poverty Reduction, Energy Access, Human Rights, Social Protection, Education, Food & Nutrition Security and/or Environmental Protection. I fall into the Human Rights category, but also the aspect of community well-being, community engagement, cultural resource access and freedoms of expression.
Development Policy is very complex, and cross-sectional task that can come from a moral, or ethical responsibility aspect, or as a pragmatic principle and “enlighten self interest.”
Today we had Modules, or lectures, from 10a-12, 1-4p and 4:30-6:30, with a closing event from 6:30-7:30. It was a long day, and these definitions and examples will slowly start to take shape in the next few days.
(Note: I’m not proofreading this blog post until tomorrow. Please forgive anything that doesn’t make sense or spelling errors. Ich bin müde! )
So then after all of the fun of learning, I wanted to try grocery shopping again. I wanted to see Germany Aldi, since we have it in the states, but also other shops, so I tried to go to Rewe. I was told that it’s comparable to a Giant, or Tops, or standard grocery. But, when I got there, they were already closed. I took the bike, it wasn’t that far, but I was angry because I knew Aldi closed very soon. So I went over to Aldi, with 30 minutes until they closed. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to really look around, and honestly became very overwhelmed quickly. But fun fact, Aldi in Germany acts just like Aldi in the U.S.!
So I got some things for breakfast and for some snacks, I’m going to try to go to another place soon. I need so more quick snacks for our excursions and trips this week and next week.
So far it’s been good and I’m surrounded with very smart and nice people. I learned how to order coffee in German. My Airbnb family, who are super nice and speak English very well, told me that we are only going to speak in German from now on, so I have to improve!
I found out that I can understand German better than actually speaking it. Just like Sign Language, the sentence structure throws me off!
But, I’m optimistic, but also very warm, and weirdly sore.
The adventure continues.
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)