Sunday, June 24, 2007
Boston day one: airports and economics
It has officially started, the madness that is summer and adventuring around the world, and I couldn’t be happier. Travel yesterday was wild, and a bit tiring, yet I am safely here in Boston today. It all began with a midnight flight out of Phoenix to Chicago, where I spent three hours (from 5am to 8am) trying to sleep in a perfectly secluded spot I found on the floor sandwiched between a window and a row of uncomfortable seats. I lay there for a while, watching raindrops playfully chase each other down the glass and thinking how nice it was to see the sunrise while it was raining. I was able to sleep for close to an hour on the plane, and was also able to catch a bit of rest lying on the floor of the airport. Then, at 8am it was off for a quick two hour flight to Boston.
When I arrived I found my bag and followed the instructions I had been given for finding Simmons College, where the Poverty and Prosperity seminar would take place. This involved navigating a confusing and complicated subway system with all of my luggage on my back while being hassled by the occasional mentally unbalanced homeless person. After hopping on a few wrong trains I eventually found my way to Simmons and arrived at 1pm eastern time, and let me tell you, I was glad to have arrived. I found my room and, upon entering, found my roommate Daniel asleep on his bed. He woke up for long enough to tell me his name and that he had spent the night at the airport, and that he was from Moldova. Later as we talked, he turned out to be a really nice guy, about my age, and he was not at all offended when I told him that I not only didn’t know where Moldova was, but that I had never heard of it. Moldova, in case you were wondering, is a small country about the size of Maine sandwiched between the Ukraine and Romania, they speak Romanian. Shortly after meeting Dan, I succumbed to sleep and did so for close to two hours, until we were supposed to start at 4pm.
After the seminar we attended dinner and our social, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was, and still am, very impressed with the level of diversity of the participants involved in the seminar. I have thus far met people from Peru, Guinea, the UK, Austria, Russia, Guatemala, Mexico, India, Canada, Taiwan, Sierra Leone, and a variety of other places. Each of the participants is around my age, and each of them has unique and interesting stories and each brings with them a very different outlook on life. It really has been eye opening so far. Since last night I have attended two additional seminars relating to poverty and economics and several discussions in smaller groups. I have really been enjoying talking and learning all about global economics, something I knew very little about. Anyway, I am looking forward to my week here in Boston, and hope to see some of the sights when I am more rested and have more time, thus far we have been kept very busy! In the meantime, check out the pictures, some of which I will post here, but I will post all of them on another website that you can access by clicking on the link on the right side of the page.