Each day here in Virginia has been beautiful and sunny. The creek next to my house is low and sparkling in the light. But each morning, I go online to see what is the state of affairs in BiH. I see tragic photos of floods, mudslides, and heroic photos of people helping one another, and saving animals. There are few articles in the us media, and the big news was the potential disaster of the unearthed landmines floating down into the rivers. The mine clean-up, I read, will taken even longer now. The day-to-day despair and challenges must be imagined. There is sparing coverage of the situation on the ground. And with no clean water for 1/4 of the population, which already struggles, I can imagine the cascades of emotion. It is hard to convey to people here, where house insurance is common, where federal aid is generally available, where starting over is common practice.
I do think the Fulbright is so important in conveying the idea that people all around the world as…people. Although I had lived abroad before, this experience has made me insistent on turning my students eyes outward. This is a challenge because social media makes everything immediately important. And ‘knowledge’ so immediately gained via social media has less weight. And, geography is shaky. The best that one class could do was locate BiH in Europe.
And when this news cycle dies down, then will there be coverage or interest in the lengthy recovery in this region? Who said, the personal is political? Or is the political is personal?