Thursday, July 22, 2010

Project Belén

Yesterday was Wednesday, and I presented my Amazing Woman monologue.

It was exciting for me, because the person I chose was Tamora Pierce, an author who has been my inspiration since I was in the early years of elementary school.

I know I said a little bit about her the other day, but I’d like to elaborate, considering her huge influence on me.

She grew up in San Francisco, just like me (well, Bay Area) and when she was little, she loved to make up stories to entertain herself. She was drawn to science fiction (like Star Trek) and fantasy (like Lord of the Rings). Her early love of literature and writing mirrors mine, and she knew she wanted to write from a very young age.

I am like her in this respect. I love reading and writing, and fantasy/science fiction is my favorite genre (though my own stories tend to be more realistic fiction).

From the very first book I read by her, Alanna: The First Adventure, when I was in the fourth grade, I knew I wanted to read and write for the rest of my life. In that book, a young girl named Alanna decides she wants to be a knight, instead of being sent to a convent like all other girls her age. Through the series, she accomplishes this, first disguising herself as a boy, then revealing her womanhood, and fighting the discrimination from the men around her.

What a message for a young fourth-grader like myself. Not only was I learning from my parents to be confident in myself, and not to be constrained by trivialities like gender, but I was getting it from the books I loved too.

I can say with certainty and pride that a large part of the woman (and budding novelist) that I am today is die to this woman.

My presentation went flawlessly, and I just hope I imparted a little bit of what I learned from her to my fellow classmates.

Also, in my research for the Action Plan paper I had to turn in today, I found the perfect charity.

It’s called Project Belén, and directly benefits Belén, the area of the Amazon that I visited. I’m not sure if I really talked about my Action Plan yet, so I’ll go in depth now.

When I visited Peru (Belén in particular), I saw a lot of poverty. This was the stark reality of the country I had idealized for seventeen years. But it didn’t diminish my love for Peru in any way. It only made me sad, but that sadness awoke a fire inside me that demanded I help, demanded I do my vest to change the situation of the people there, as they couldn’t do it themselves.

So coming to Brown only a day after my return from Peru was really the best thing that ever could have happened, as we learned about this Action Plan project, where we picked a cause to benefit the world, and act on it.

I knew immediately that I wanted to help the people of Belén, and last night, I found the perfect organization to do so. Project Belén provides healthcare, food, counseling, and more to the poverty stricken residents there, and sends volunteers down to work with the locals and improve their situation.

I’m so excited to go back home, talk to the presidents of the Interact Club at my school, and set up find raising activities to raise money for the charities.

1 comment:

  1. Just a tip - Interact only participates in activities that are also approved by Rotary International. Be prepared to wait for some time for that to happen. I don't know why they wouldn't approve it, though.