It is hard to summarize all the new information that was presented to me by Bolivian locals and from the wonderful professionals–now friends–that I met on the trip. Being the youngster on the trip, I did not feel ready to engage in the subject of Food Sovereignty and Climate Change. Even though I did not have much of a background in many of the discussion topics, it did not take an expert to see the shocking reality of the world food system in Bolivia. How the Global North uses beautiful counties like Bolivia in the Global South to aid their own food security. How food is no longer a human right but a commodity used to control populations and benefit certain wealthy nations. As an undergraduate in college, we read a lot about the injustices and unfair issues throughout the world, but lack the reality of experiencing it. I wish my school would had some sort of Study Abroad Program like this. Wake up tours. I wasn’t able to get a scholarship or university credit for the tour (I funded it with the rest of my emergency savings and donations from a few professors who believe in my future) yet it was worth it because I went in with just an interest in food security and left a food activist.
Most of the trip I was scared to speak up for fear of feeling stupid and being corrected. Then, I was taught that regardless of your level of intelligence it is good to share your knowledge. With time you will become a better communicator. And, if someone critizity your “absurd” statements, be the better communicator and take it as practicum.
What is most important is, for those who have had the chance to gain great wisdom and education, to share with others.
share, share, and share some more.
Out of all the things I learned on this life changing trip, the simplest chart given to us at the beginning of the tour constantly found itselfs extremely useful. This chart explains the different food movements and their ways at tackling the food crisis. Terms like food security, justice, sovereignty get thrown around a lot in our classes and academic work and I felt this chart is a great guideline to follow for our understanding of Food Studies. When looking for Master Programs in food studies, I was always looked for the term Food Security. Now I feel need to study sovereignty because having enough food to feed the population is much different from having the correct food for society.
From Food First’s Backgrounder at http://www.foodfirst.org/en/food+sovereignty%2C+food+justice%2C+food+security