Ok..so i'm sorry for really not updating frequently but i promise to do so henceforth. So, where did we stop in my last post? Well, since then we have had a lot going on. We have had two class sesssions since then so I will divide this post into two sections devoted to each class period.
SEPTEMBER 9, 2009- First Class Session
We met for the first time since our dinner with Dr. Reid(former WSU president)..and yeah, I didnot blog about that. Unfortunately I had not started my blog yet. However just a tip of that iceberg, I'll say it was a really exciting day for me. I met everyone invloved with our trip including Dr. Reid, Dr. Herron( the Dean of the Irvin D Reid Honors College-yeah, it was named in honor of tee same Dr. Reid), Prof. Deegan-Krause and the students accepted into this program. Trust me, they are the best out of the best and I am proud and honored to be a part of this group. Ok so back to our first class:
This session was more or less about getting all the technical aspect of the class together. We were given a brief syllabus on what is required of us..I promise to upload soon..We also has a team of medical practioners from Passport Health in Farmington Hills visit our class to inform us about what necessary shots we needed for the trip and to give us some advice on staying safe and healthy. Other members of the class took their shots but I didnot for two reasons...1. I HATE shots 2. I needed to talk to my mom first about what shots I have already taken as a kid to avoid taking it again unnecessarily.
We also had a brief discussion about our assigned reading-> Anne Pitcher's -Transforming Mozambique: The Business of Privatization. http://site.ebrary.com.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/lib/wayne/docDetail.action?docID=10070370
Then we had our Portuguese professor Ms. Gabriella come in to give us our first lessons in Portuguese..Oi, Meu nome e Moriah...Qual e seu nome? LOL....Having already taken French and Spanish, I think Protuguese is a mixture of bot(that's my opinion and a few members of my class tend to share the same view)..However i have come to the conclusion that all romance languages sound pretty much the same..
So as you can see, we had a pretty long day but that was just the tip of the iceberg and to think that I sat through close to 5hours of all this with a severe stomach pain. I even had to leave for a moment to get a packet of Tylenol which helped the pain. All in all, it was a good first day and we all looked forward to having Prof. Pitcher visit us during our next meeting session.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2009-Anne Pitcher's Visit!!!
Isn't it AWESOME to have the author of a book come in to personally discuss that book with you? WOW....it was truly an experience. My day was actually interesting. I started off by joining the Muslim students on campus in their fast-a-thon. It was a one day program during which they asked non-muslims students to join them in their fast and attend a feast at the end of the day. So I decided to join and support them. Even tho I didnot wake up on time for the prayer at 5am, I wen tthrough part of the day fighting with my hunger. Then I had to attend our annual Student Organization Day hosted by the Dean of Students Office for the more than 200 student orgs at WSU to recruit new members and put their organization out there. So as president of the Wayne African Student Society(WASS) and Co-Vice President for Pledge Education of my fraternity(Delta Sigma Pi), I had to be there with my organizations.So it was a long morning and then I had this class at 12:45. Now by the time I had to leave for class, I was STARVING!! There I realized that if I wen tto class without eating, my system would shut down and I will not enjoy the benefits of Prof. Pitcher's visit, neither would I be able to actively participate...so I broke my fast with two donuts( i still continued afterwards tho and attended the feast..my friend said the thought counted..lol)
Ok, Anne Pitcher is first of all very knowledgeable about what she writes. Her discussion on Wednesday gave me a clearer view about what perspective she holds concerning the Mozambican situation. Now, there is no doubt that Mozambique can be used as a model for African democracy but the anxiety that comes with every election period in Africa is one that calls for concern and in this case, it is the emergence of the Mozambique Democratic Movement(MDM). How are they going to affect the electoral process in terms of their possibilities of having a large electoral stronghold. How would Frelimo and Renamo maintain their electorate or lose them to MDM? What new message id MDM bringing to the people of Mozambique? These are a few questions that come up in these crucial times. Going back to Prof. Pitcher's visit, after giving us a timeline of key dates in Mozabican history, she also opened up the discussion on socialism...Why didn't Socialism last? Just to clarify, socialism was not necessarily a bad thing for Mozambique.Pitcher argues that socialism being popular among other liberation movements in africa-Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, Guines Bissau etc was actually very inclusive. It encouraged popular participation through the formation of trade unions, women movement, youth groups and more. It also however served as a useful means to consolidate power. Now referring particularly to the mozambican case,Pitcher outlined some characteristics of what she called "Frelimo Styled Socialism". It was first of all, a one party system. There were forms of participation controlled & coopted by the Frelimo party, most businesses were nationalized, state farms were created, trading networks were controlled and foreign policies led to alignment with Cuba and support came from China and Russia. Now why didn't socialism last? Pitcher argued that it was undermined. Socialism in Mozambique according to Pitcher was undermined by both foreign and domestic factors but mostly domestic.Some foreign factors were: the Cold War(during which time Mozambique had just gained their independence), Apartheid South Africa(I personally feel it was a game of tit for tat in which S.A was trying to distabilize Mozambique who it had supported the anti-apartheid movement through its support to the ANC in S.A) I could be wrong but Mozambique was also a threat to S.A prior(as a black-controlled state and a socialist state).Other foreign factors included Rhodesia(Zimbabwe) ongoing liberation movement at that time...........................................Read the next post for discussion of the domestic factors that undermined socialism in Mozambique.