Saturday! And a little soapbox...

Wheeeee! A lovely day off WITH my sweetie. This week was another long 40-hour work week but I was able to start on my regular schedule (ie. had 2 days off to resemble a weekend, yesterday and today) which made a world of difference. It's an absolutely perfect fall day here - crisp temps, warm sunshine, and lovely leaves in bright colors everywhere. Fall is my favorite season!

Today I FINALLY get to do so some sewing. It's been way too long (thanks, new schedule!) so I'm really thrilled to finally get to work on my projects. A friend who lives in Scotland just welcomed a new niece to the family and I made a quilt for her and am shipping it off today (after only a minor incident with printing fabric paper that may or may not have resulted in ruining my laser printer...ugh). I'm also going to tackle some more stippling, basting, and working on holiday presents as Hanukkah is only a month away! No Halloween plans for us - meh, another year!

On a completely non-crafty related note, I wanted to include some personal info here. I definitely am not the type of person who likes to leave their personal life out of their blog but I do like to mostly try to make this blog about crafting. Lately though, I know that hasn't been the case and I appreciate all the kind and supportive words people have offered to me during this difficult transition period in my life. I really want to share with you a little more insight into my professional life and WHY not having a job that uses my master's degree is such a big deal for me. During the summer between my first and second year of graduate school, I was fortunate enough to work as an advocate at a non-profit organization in South Africa that addresses the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)*. I was part of the seminal team, a coalition of NGOs that examined an ad hoc presidential pardon process that appeared to be leaving out victim input. When the TRC addressed the atrocities that occurred during the apartheid regime, a key part of the process was including testimony by victims. Technically, the mandate of the TRC is expired but South Africa continues to try to uphold its legacy by governing with many of its principles. During the later years of President Mbeki's term, a number of special pardon requests were submitted that directly referred to crimes committed during apartheid but were - for one reason or another - not addressed through the TRC. A special parliamentary committee was selected to review these pardon applications and make recommendations to the president. The problem was, the victims were never given a voice during this process. On behalf of the victims and with the greater interest of the whole country in mind, a coalition of respected organizations - including the one I was interning at - came together to make recommendations to include victims when deciding whether or not pardon requests should be granted. Flash forward 2 1/2 years and the advocacy was a success! You can read all about it on the International Center for Transitional Justice's website as well as on the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation's (this was where I worked).

Soo...you can only imagine how incredibly psyched I am, not only that the government listen and favored the victims but that I was fortunate enough to contribute to this victory! This is why getting a job in my field matters to me.

Now, I'll be stepping off my soapbox.

Oops, before I do, don't forget to VOTE THIS TUESDAY!!!

(By the way, the blog header picture is me at the Cape Point, which is right near the Cape of Good Hope, the south-western most point of the African continent. Approximately 40 miles out into the ocean from Cape Point is where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.)

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects the freedom of others. ~ Nelson Mandela

*For more info about the TRC, check this out.

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Kind words, funny stories, and recipes are always welcome. :)