Category Archives: Atlanta

Be the Change

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day last… err, Monday, I decided to go ahead and make some progress on my goals for this year. I’ve set three in motion, but one in particular that I want to talk about tonight. In the following excerpt from President Obama’s speech about putting change in motion he asks us to give a little time for our country and fellow Americans:

“But I also know this: that however well government does its job; however hard we work to make good plans and policies and restore a sense of responsibility to Washington, our problems cannot be solved by government alone – or even mostly by government. It’s going to take all of us, putting our shoulder to the wheel, doing our part to remake this nation.

That’s why we’ve called on the American people to come together and devote their time and effort to work in their communities today. And that’s why we chose this particular day, when we honor a man who lived his life as a servant to his fellow citizens – and whose greatness can be measured not just in his own extraordinary contributions, but in how he inspired others to contribute.

So today, I am asking you to roll up your sleeves and join in the work of remaking this nation. I pledge to you that government will do its part to open up more opportunities for citizens to participate. And in return, I ask you to play your part – to not just pitch in today, but to make an ongoing commitment that lasts far beyond one day, or even one presidency.”

I signed the Declaration of Service to volunteer 50 hours of my time annually to my community. I attended two orientations at 2 hours each for a total of 4 completed hours so far this year. I will be teaching English to immigrants on Tuesday evenings through a local non-profit organization. I’m looking forward to meeting all my students on Tuesday and the opportunity to make some Spanish-speaking friends. It’s also a huge bonus that it allows me to get experience teaching English as a foreign language since I’m getting the TEFL certificate as part of my university studies.

Just to get you started there are several databases online you can search through to find a volunteer opportunity in your community:

USA Service
Idealist.org
Do Something
Network for Good

I hope that you all will help me to help our president bring change to the White House. Also, care to share some of your goals you plan on accomplishing this year?

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

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No End in Sight

This blog is not dead, nor have I died, but life sure has been crazy since I left Buenos Aires. Today marks exactly one month that I have been back in the States and while I’m enjoying being back and living a full life, my heart aches to be back in South America or just traveling around every day. It’s an exhausting life but the also most fulfilling I’ve found.

I intended to make a post before the new year between being homeless in Atlanta for two days, moving into my apartment on the 1st, and school starting back up on the 5th, seeing everyone, and falling back into the folds of life in America I haven’t had very much free time. I have lots to tell you all about, including several posts about my final adventures in Argentina, as well as ones from Uruguay that never got put up. I thought for a while about what kind of content I would put on here once I was back living in the States because I don’t want to resort to rambling about my daily life, however amusing or uninteresting it may be at times. I did make a promise to myself before I left Argentina, though, that I would figure out whatever it was that made life so exciting for me there and incorporate it into my life here. That answer meant living more like a tourist: visiting museums, checking out special attractions, visiting theatres and cool restaurants, and the list just goes on. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that living like a tourist just means more of simply living. That could also be reversed to living simply. I intend to do both.

Since that New Year’s post never gotten written I figure I’ll give a basic outline of my “resolutions,” which are really just goals which I can measure based on the calendar year. I vowed to visit more cultural sights in Atlanta and do things that people visit Atlanta to do. Here is my list for the year and I will add it to the sidebar shortly so you all can keep track of my progress over the year:

– check out the Fernbank Museum
– visit the High
– learn to play guitar
– take a cooking class
– run a half-marathon
– go to the Bremen Jewish Museum
– see the Cyclorama
– ride Marta buses
– visit one place in the U.S. I have never been
– get an international driver’s license (with motorcycle class)
– read one book for pleasure every month
– volunteer at least once a month

Also, in order to keep things interesting on the travel front, I have one major trip in the works for this summer out of the country, several smaller trips I plan to take over the course of the year hiking, camping, and backpacking, as well as plans to visit New Orleans again along with one other U.S. city I have never been. Here’s an added catch: I decided it would be fun to incorporate Greyhound and Amtrak into my upcoming adventures, so I’m sure I’ll have stories to tell.

With that, I need to get some reading done before class, but know that I have many exciting posts coming soon!