The way from a project’s application papers to its actual outcome is a long and winding one.
When we started the project on the 11th of August, Spire had fortunately already done most of the administrational, economical and otherwise demanding and a little bit boring work (visas, housing etc.) But what would we actually do? What did we really want to say with the project? Would we be able to fulfil Spire’s aspirations? These were questions bombarding our brains through the summer’s intense heat. Sorry, got a bit carried away there; it wasn’t very hot, but bombarded our brains indeed were.
We´ve managed, through our intercultural communication skills (accumulated at LNU’s camp (later to be described by Shuko and Lizzie)) to narrow down the project topic and receive a greater understanding of the project’s aims. But before we get to that part, let´s have an introduction of the Norwegian half of this exchange team.
We are Lina and Oda. Lina comes from an apple farm in Hardanger. That Lina likes writing in nynorsk, hiking in mountains and Norwegian folk dance should therefore not come as a surprise. She has a bachelor degree in international studies from the University of Oslo and has fieldwork experience in agricultural politics from Ecuador and Bolivia.
Oda likes to draw. And she likes going to concerts. Oda also likes taking photos with fish eye effect. When all these things come together Oda gets ecstatically happy and will have her head in the sky with diamonds. After the project she´ll eventually become an economist with a focus on natural recourses, which she is excited about, though not as excited as she is by her new discovery: the fact that if you look at yourself in a spoon it has a sort of fish-eye-effect!
During the next six months we will spend every breathing second of our lives in the name of food sovereignty. For those still unfamiliar with the concept, it was first defined by Via Campesina in 1996 and concerns the right of peoples, communities, and countries to define their own labour, fishing and land policies.
Spire sees this as a mean to achieve food security. It´s truly a concept worth reading, visiting schools, arranging seminars, travel around the country, working at organic farms for, and at last – create a brochure for. We feel fortunate to be able to work with such a great organization as Spire and to be on a team with Shuko and Lizzie from YEN Zambia.
– Oda & Lina