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May 7, 2008

BLOG 8 & 9 BABY!

These two responses are from the honors presentations. I unfortunately did not write down their names, so hope what I talk about will sound familiar. I think the groups I chose to write about did an awesome job presenting. I’m sure it would be difficult in front of 100 or more people!

The first presentation I will talk about I believe addresses goal 7, ensuring environmental sustainability through improving Minneapolis Slums. I feel this project had the closest connection to how architecture can directly help ensure sustainability. The first aspect that I enjoyed was the research on current buildings that are run sustainably. It is awesome to take ideas that are already saving so much money and so much energy and implementing them into new designs or new renovations. And some buildings have only focused on saving energy in one specific way, so to take all those and combine them into one building will immensely help our environment as well as our pockets. Some of these ideas were replacing at least one light bulb per unit with a compact florescent light bulb, using solar energy as much as possible, vertical recycling shoots, low flow plumbing, rainwater collection, and focusing on natural lighting. Also as they said it would improve the life enjoyment of those that are living in this low income housing. The low-income housing they focused on was the Riverside Plaza, designed by Ralph Rapson. I enjoy so much that they chose a local building because it makes change seem so much more realistic when it is something that we can relate to.

The second one I will talk about addresses goal 4, reducing child mortality, but I feel it touched on goal 6, combating Malaria and other diseases, as well as goal 2 achieving universal primary education. Or maybe it was goal 6 and it touched on reducing child mortality. Either way they did a great job of incorporating all aspects. First of all I love the quote that they started out with- “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.? This quote shows that children are our future and that there needs to be something done to prevent them from harm. They went on to explain that every thirty seconds a child dies of Malaria, which seems absolutely outrageous. Malaria is something I think Americans do not necessarily take seriously because we are lucky enough to have the means of prevention, where as in the example they chose, Sierra Leone does not. They said that only 20% of children are unable to sleep under mosquito nets, which unfortunately makes sense because Sierra Leone has so many other political issues right now that they cannot focus on epidemics such as Malaria. They explained that in Sierra Leone there are anti-government groups that force kids or young adults to cut off all their limbs so they cannot pick up arms for the government. Also some are forced to shoot their own parents in order to seer all bonds with family. This shows us that it is obviously up to other countries, such as ours, to take an effort to help prevent diseases like Malaria, because they have way too much to worry about themselves right now. Some ways that we can help or are helping is though Unicef, which is currently widely active in Sierra Leone, through Action Against Hunger, which has a direct link on their website on how to get involved, through Feed My Starving Children, which is in Minnesota and you can go help make/pack lunches for them to send over, and also by going on nothingbutnets.com because everyone who plays their game will help a mosquito net to be sent their. They also said that Nothing but Nets has web banners that you can put on your blog, which gives a direct link to that net game.

May 1, 2008

volunteer entry for April 8th

This day was one of the first days I had seen Mayronny in awhile. She had cut bangs into her hair. It was super nice out that day. We worked on some of her math. She also brought in her moon journal, but had already drawn and wrote in it. We also read for awhile. For recreation I believe we played carpetball.