Adrienne Lemon


Adrienne Lemon

I've been using this blog to write about my views on life as I experience it around the world (occasionally). My opinions and ideas change all the time, and are not representative of organizations that have employed me, nor do they represent any findings of my dissertation research.

North America » United States August 1st 2012

Ah, facebook. My 'friends' have increasingly weighed in on the debate about Chik-fil-A, a fast food company specializing in chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, and (more recently) the definition of marriage. In an interview with Ken Coleman, President and COO Dan Cathy was asked about the impact of fatherlessness on our nation today. I give you his response: "... I see it's a real crisis in the sense that there is a certain amount of emotional DNA... that God intended for us to get from from a mother and a dad that we observe over life as children... that we can only get from our dad and we only get it from our mother... and we're to get it in a home dynamic and environment where they're interrelating together." Emotional DNA sounds important. Remember everyone, it only ... read more

Africa » Burundi » West » Bujumbura January 19th 2012

N'Amahoro, After almost five months in the US, I've finally found my way back to Burundi for more research. Hooray! My favorite bit of news so far is that there's an "Acid Bug" (also known as "Nairobi Fly") infestation in Bujumbura. While they don't bite, they do secrete acid onto your skin if you touch them. Fantastic. If I develop blisters all over my body, at least I'll know where they came from. August As it turns out, I never blogged about my last month in Burundi. So, I will quickly catch everyone up. Most of August, was spent working in the prison, which I can only describe as both fascinating and emotionally draining. Mpimba prison is a rough place. One year, food shortages prompted the prisoners to riot and set the front building on fire ... read more
Musée Vivant
Musée Vivant

Africa » Burundi » West » Bujumbura July 18th 2011

I'm lazy. The result is that I haven't blogged in a month... but I'm back! It's been an interesting few weeks, here in Bujumbura. One of the most fascinating things about my interviews is how people construct Burundi's past. I could probably group people into current political affiliations based on their renditions of history - who was responsible for most of the killing during the war, which rebel groups were better, who were the best and worst presidents, when the division between Hutus and Tutsis began... And, believe me, there are some very different ways to tell the history of Burundi. That's not so different from any of us, actually - the details we highlight from the past shape how we see and understand the world today. "A man's called a traitor or a liberator. A ... read more

Africa » Burundi » West » Bujumbura July 1st 2011

Peter Piper picked a peck of pili peppers. Yes, I said pili peppers. The Challenge I'm not sure where to begin this latest blog, so I think I'll start with the most recent event: the pili pili eating competition. Those of you who know me know that I love spicy food. There's very little that's too spicy for me to stomach, and I'm always up to the challenge of trying something new. So when my friend Seth claimed he was the only American he knew that could eat a whole pili... one question came to mind: are you sure about that? In many parts of Africa, it's common to be served pili pili (or piment) with a meal... a kind of hot sauce derived from the African chili - delicious on almost everything, in my opinion. ... read more
Tailors in the Market
The Lake at Night

Africa » Burundi » West » Bujumbura June 16th 2011

Hello, hello. I’ve officially been living in Burundi for two weeks, now. Hard to believe! Life in Buja has been pretty great. My research is going well, so far. For better or worse, my questions about violence in the country are becoming increasingly pertinent, which means there’s a lot of information. I’m also learning how to navigate daily life here. I’m not sure what I expected when I came to this country, but I’m pretty sure what I’ve found is not what I anticipated when I got on the plane. Every day, I wonder if my view of Burundi is becoming clearer or more muddled. I wish I knew… Research Burundi has a relatively tight-knit community of NGOs, consultants, researchers, and academics - everyone seems to know everyone. One person can give you more contacts than ... read more
Audifax and Josiah
The Bus

Africa » Burundi » West » Bujumbura June 15th 2011

Me: It was a fiasco. Do you know this word? Audifax: How do you say it? Me: fee-AS-co. Audifax: Hm. What does it mean? fee-AS-co. Me: It means ‘a total mess.’ When everything goes wrong, you say it was a fiasco. Audifax: Ah, fiasco… The harshest lessons I’ve learned to date: never take a picture without permission, and try hard not to give your number to people – even if you need to talk to them for research. No Photographs, Please Saturday was a strange day from the very beginning. I had been roped into walking around the neighborhood with a man named Desire, who I originally interviewed to learn about the peace organization he worked for. Unfortunately, he seemed to have very little information for me. Worse, he now had my phone number; every night ... read more
Permission for Research!
Under Construction

Africa » Burundi » West » Bujumbura May 31st 2011

The Blog Hello, hello! I've been in Burundi for two days, and I believe it's time to begin blogging. I am typically an unreliable blogger - I skip details and post pretty rarely; but, this time is different (I can feel it). I hope this site will serve as a way for me to share my impressions, and experiences, among other things, while I'm in the great country of Burundi. Josiah and I are living just outside of Buja while we begin research for our PhD dissertations - it's the first trip for each of us, but won't be the last. We live here with Jean-Pierre, our guard, and a dog named Burton (Bwegu, in Kirundi). Another PhD student and her husband (Cara and James) used to live in this house, and set us both up ... read more

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali August 19th 2007

Hey everyone - I am back in the States now, safe and sound, and I'm finally posting about the rest of my trip. The computers were too slow there! For the second half, we continued to do interviews and work at the Village of Hope. We also took time for travel and sightseeing, and learned about some of RWN's work outside Kigali while we were at it. So here goes. One of our first travels outside Kigali was to a place called Butare. Butare is noted as the district with the largest number of fatalities during the genocide, and there is a rather infamous memorial there that we all went to see. We also visited the history museum and did some craft shopping at a co-op there - I bought a lot of stuff made out ... read more
Memorial in Kigali
Kigali Sunset
Women in Ruhengeri

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali » Kigali July 6th 2007

Hello Everyone! I am in Kigali, Rwanda now (have been for about three weeks), and I am having an absolutely wonderful experience! I've learned so much about Operationg Crossroads, which is the program I'm working through. It turns out they are having their 50th anniversary next year and they are the program that actually started the Peace Corps. It's basically run by one guy (Willis Logan), who knows everyone's name somehow when you get to the conference in New York. While in New York, we met our group and learned about what other groups were doing. There are groups going to Kenya, Ghana, Gambia, Uganda, Senegal, and Rwanda this year, and they're all doing really different projects. Some are doing women's studies programs, others are assessing microfinancing, there are health programs, building libraries, the works. It's ... read more

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