Friday, May 13, 2016

I'm back! Or: How The Millie flew Freetown to Conakry to Paris to Atlanta to Seattle to LA to Seattle in one week and took a selfie with Carl Reiner along the way! And then immediately graduated from University. Yeah, I'm tired. ~The Prologue~

Hello, gang! How have you all been? Some of you were perhaps unsuccessfully attempting to follow my life in Sierra Leone the past few months on my personal website (sorry dKoren!), but that webpage was nearly impossible for me to load. If you want to see everything that went down, probs check out my Insta instead (it was the only thing that would consistently work on my Sierra Leone phone).

^Here is a photo of me with my bosses, Hawa and Ruth, in our ashobi for a graduation ceremony.

My time in Sierra Leone was life-confirming and real and purposeful and difficult and wonderful and annoying and funny and complex: it was just life. I have always felt equally comfortable in Makeni as I do in Seattle, and these months alone there were a brilliant reminder of that (special thanks to blog readers who helped sponsor my time, I am in awe of your communal perspective).

My big projects with not enough time were interviewing women in the organization (headed by Ruth on the right in the photo), and also working with the craftswomen in finding local markets for their fair trade products. It was frustrating (I understand Krio 99.9%, but can't always remember the right words to respond with) and rewarding (I MANAGED TO CONVINCE A GUY TO SELL THE LADIES' WORK IN HIS MARKET WITH A CONTRACT AND EVERYTHING). Aside from my official duties, I spent time hanging out with Makeni friends, and also got adopted as an obnoxious supporter of a local football team called FC SEATTLE. (I'm not joking. It was the most random moment of my life.) I'll try and write more about the last few months over at (fyi, I graduated on Saturday, but still have two papers to write, so...hahahahha. WHAT AM I DOING).

Immediately after returning to the US (it took days and 5 airports), I was off to LA for the TCM Film Festival. This was solely due to the generosity of Kate the Great and Auntie Casey. As always, I remain penniless.

I'm gonna go day by day talking about my time at the fest. It was gloriously wonderful time, and yes, I TOOK A SELFIE WITH CARL REINER. There is much much more to that story (mostly taking place in my mind, but whatevs). I was also blessed by Adam West. HAHAHAHAHAHA. *faints* And had Ed Asner shake his cane at me. And other "shenanigans."

After the fest, I returned to Seattle to walk in my graduation and hide from my dean (those aforementioned papers I am still supposed to write about my time in West Africa). I was only successful in one venture. Whoops. Email from dean had the subject line: "WHERE ARE YOU?" It's all good. I still walked summa cum laude (and now they will never give me my diploma).

^I cut my friend out of this photo, because I'm a narcissist (and/or I didn't ask his consent to have this photo plastered everywhere). I wore a blue jumpsuit I purchased from Goodwill two years ago and Man From UNCLE shades from Kate, because she may be an evil villain with Nazi-ties, but Victoria Vinciguerra is forever #stylegoals

Now, I'm working the SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival), and you should all come experience its greatness for the next month. And, then internship in Memphis area until October, and then.....if you have an ethical job with a livable wage for someone with a cross-cultural studies degree and a familiarity with Sierra Leone and a love for film and defending the human rights of children, CONTACT ME ASAP.

Be right back with day 1 of TCMFF!


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