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Conflict and Development

Posted by Anonymous Friday, January 18, 2008

I am taking 9 hours of courses this semester at KU, and my first class kicked off last night. "Conflict and Development," instructed by Richard L. Ground. Check out a few of Dr. Ground's previous employment experiences from his CV:

  • Countries of work experience: Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay.
  • Country Manager. Sierra Leone World Bank Office, Africa Region, and Principal Economist, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, the World Bank. Duty station: Freetown. (First World Bank Country Manager in Sierra Leone.)
  • Resident Representative. Mongolia World Bank Office, East Asia and Pacific Region, and Principal Economist, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, the World Bank. Duty Station: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. (First Bank Resident Representative in Mongolia.)
  • Senior Economist, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit, Economic Policy Group, Latin America and Caribbean Region, the World Bank. (Outstanding Performance Evaluation—top 5% of Bank staff.)
Oof. That is only a small sampling of his experience. Hot! Also, a classmate that I met last semester who is in this course has put together a partnership with the University of Mogadishu. Abdi is Somalian and wanted to find a way to get good research statistics from Somalia without having to risk going there. So there are 44 students and faculty in Mogadishu who are actually enrolled in this same course, and they will be watching the videos of our class and responding to the lessons and discussions, from the perspective of citizens of a war torn country. Fascinating.

Last night we watched a film called Cry Freetown by Sorious Samura about the recent conflict in Sierra Leone. He is a well known Sierra Leonean journalist who was able to film graphic aspects of the conflict that none other has ever captured. It was gut wrenching to watch, but helped to gain good perspective.

All to say, I am expecting to learn a great deal from this course, especially about Kenya and Sudan (next week a few Kenyans are coming to teach us!) I have two more classes that will begin over the next week, "Introduction to Modern Africa" (in Lawrence), and "Global Cities" (at Edwards, as is C & D). Saddle up.

In other news, Toby arrived to Sudan and is still pending his new relatively permanent home in the Nuba Mountains.


Anonymous said...

Wow, how interesting that will be. Having an instructor with that much actual experience is awesome!
We're praying for you and Toby, tell him Uncle Bob and I say hello.
Love you,
Aunt Katy