Sunday, June 2, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
In Social Studies these past few months, my grade has been working on a Human Rights project called Be The Change. We each had to pick our own topic, and I decided to do my project on the Darfur region in Sudan, a county in conflict. For our project, there are 3 components, research, social action, and a report. For my social action component, I want to raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur by writing about it on my blog. Please read this and share it with others so I can reach lots of people! Thanks for reading and for caring!
Darfur is a region in the country of Sudan that was home to 6 million people pre-conflict. The conflict began in 2003 when 2 rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) rose up against the Sudanese government, accusing them of favouring the Arab Darfuris oven the African farmers. The government was quick to try to crush the rebel groups by sending out armed militia called Janjaweed. Janjaweed is Arabic for "evil men on horseback". The Janjaweed are blamed for many killings, rape, and abductions. Refugees describe them as gun-wielding men riding camels or horses who burn villages and steal whatever they can carry. The fighting between the government and rebel movements is rooted in the government's exploitative leadership and an unequal distribution of power and wealth.
- an estimated 400, 000 civilians have been killed due to war related violence, disease and starvation
- about 2.7 million civilians are internally displaced, and about 250, 000 live as refugees in neighboring countries
- 4.7 million conflict affected people live in desperate need of aid just for daily survival
The Sudanese government has obstructed UN peacekeeping forces, refused to prosecute people charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, blocked international aid, used aerial bombing and ground assault against civilians, and extended its attacks beyond Darfur. Some attacks have even targeted international humanitarian aid workers.
The August 26th 2008 attack of a Kalma refugee camp is just one of the many similar attacks on refugee camps. These 90,000 people in the Kalma camp already had escaped the government militia that burned their villages and killed their families, and even though they had escaped, the danger was still present.
In 2010, the Sudanese government and JEM signed a peace deal, including a ceasefire. However, accusations have been made that say the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the agreement.
Only 7, 000 African Union troops have been sent to try and keep peace, and those troops lack what they need to protect those at risk of death.
There seems to be no end in Darfur's horrible conflict, murder, rape, assaults on displaces persons camps, or village destruction. This started in 2003 and has not stopped. There are still millions of people living in terrible conditions in refugee camps. The crisis in Darfur is still continuing, but the media is not reporting it any longer. We need to raise awareness and concern about the genocide in Darfur so more people will try to bring about peace, and so the senseless suffering of millions innocent people will stop.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
The Reimer's room was right next to ours and if you peeked inside in the morning or in the evening you could often see us playing intense games of Dutch Blitz, or even a couple rounds of Cheese Touch. Pretty much every day when we were eating breakfast or packing for Disney, Cohen, the Reimer's middle child, would poke his head into our room and just stare at us with that open mouthed smile. I made the very good comparison that Co is like a puppy. He runs around with tons of energy, always smiling, always happy, knocking things over and messing stuff up but you can never get mad at him.
After awhile in our Florida home, it really did start to feel like home. We had our little routine each day and we didn't want to leave. And now, for your enjoyment, pictures!
Friday, February 15, 2013
This one is like the definition of lame rides, although Ellie loved it. Basically you're sitting in this car, with a narrator guy and you ride through these scenes from famous movies. Now, it could have been interesting. But the narrator guy was annoying, and although the robots were very well made, especially the Wicked Witch of the West, there was no real suspense and it wasn't very interesting.
3. Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom (used to be Countdown to Extinction)
Many people actually like this ride, including most of my family. I hated it, and I can't really give a specific reason for it. It wasn't overly scary or boring, I just didn't like it.
4. Tomorrowland Speedway at Magic Kingdom
A lot of the younger kids wanted to go on this ride and that is the only reason I even went on it. It's like go carts, you are controlling the car, but you are on a track so you can't pass people. It goes so slow, you keep bumping into the track thingy in the middle, and it is really unresponsive. It just wasn't fun.
5. The Barnstormer at Magic Kingdom
This ride is a roller coaster that would actually be a fun ride if it wasn't so short. It's for younger kids, but seriously, it's only 20 seconds!
Thursday, February 7, 2013
On our 4th day, we decided it was time for a break from Disney World. While the moms were off shopping, the rest of us were playing many rounds of Dutch Blitz in the morning and a mini golf competition between the families. Team Penner won, of course. The second half of our day was spent at Epcot. I loved Epcot because it didn't feel as Disney as the other parks. We did some awesome rides like Soarin' and Test Track. Soarin' is a simulator ride which makes you feel like you are hang gliding hundreds of feet in the air. It was probably one of my favourite rides of all time. Test Track was a super high speed racecar type ride which everyone did. All I could hear on the fastest part was Ellie's high pitched shriek in my ear. We ate supper at a Japanese resturant where they cook the food right in front of you. Our chef was funny and our food was great! That meal was one of the highlights of my trip!
At this moment, I am sitting by the pool enjoying our complete day off from Disney. Later today we will go to the Cheesecake Factory for supper. Today was filled with swimming, ice cream, Cherry Coke, and hula hooping contests which my family dominated. The pool is awesome and the weather is perfect. Got to go now - the hot tub is calling my name.