Five Movies

On Saturday night I saw Grand Budapest Hotel. And it was fucking incredible. The best part is that I was being dragged my my friends to see Divergent (not dragged, I totally invited myself), but it was sold out (yess!) and Grand Budapest Hotel was starting ten minutes later (I wish I had planned this, but it really was a total coincidence).

Anyway, it was one of those movies that reminded me how much I love seeing a really (really) good movie. I was smiling through the whole thing and crying by the end and told everyone I knew to go see it the second I left the theater. I just wanted to go back in and watch it again. 

In honor of this new movie that I love so much, I’m going to make a list of some of my other movie loves (fair warning: I will probably be taking the desert island/Oprah’s favorite things approach blogging more often than not)

1. Bridesmaids – Because obviously. I have watched this movie pretty much at least once a month since it came out. It has never gotten less funny. I try my best to work most of the lines into every conversation. I know “I’m pretty impressive!” Also being the raging feminist that I am I’m a big fan of the blow it dealt to the “women can’t be funny” philosophy. Because those women are fucking funny. 

Speaking of Consuela…

2. Away We Go– Because John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph are the most believable awesome beautiful fictional couple ever and I want them to be my parents and raise me in that beautiful house with the orange tree. Also Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan and Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jeff Daniels and Catherine O’Hara and Chris Messina and Paul Schneider. That cast is INCREDIBLE. Also its hysterical

So far Maya Rudolph is 2 for 2.

3. Frances Ha – God just watch it. Greta Gerwig is a majestic and magnificent. I love Greta Gerwig. I want to be Greta Gerwig. Does this mean I’m an annoying white hipster? Probably. Does that bother me? A little. Have I accepted it? Completely. Also Modern Love by David Bowie plays twice so…  

4. Mean Girls – This movie defines high school. Plus Tina Fey wrote it. So obviously its perfect. Just like her.

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off- If you don’t understand this, you don’t deserve the explanation.

 

Things Uganda Taught Me

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A little less than a month ago, I got back from a two week Engineers Without Borders trip to Uganda. For people who don’t know (out of the zero people reading this blog), Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is a student organization that designs and helps build water distribution systems. For the past couple of years I’ve been really, really (too much) involved in this organization. Like work until three in the morning, never see my non-EWB friends, 20 hours of unpaid work a week on top of my full time job, involved. Anyway, last month I finally got the opportunity to travel to Uganda and be a part of an implementation trip. Obviously it was incredible and amazing and wonderful and just all around one of the best things I’ve ever been a part of. So far I haven’t really taken the time to really think through the experience, so I thought I would write this post reflecting on what I learned from this ridiculously amazing experience.

Kids are Awesome

The kids were amazing. Obviously the main reason they wanted to hang out with us is that we were weird and new and different. But I have never felt more welcome anywhere than when we would walk home after a long day of work and kids would walk with us holding our hands or yell “Hi Mzungu” from their front yard (Mzungu is the word generally used to mean foreign person)

kids

Everyone Else is Awesome Too

Although they don’t warm up to you as quickly as the kids, the relationships that we formed with the adults in the community were pretty great. Our organization has been working in this same community for about five years. In that time we’ve formed a strong relationship with them. At this point they trust us.

This makes it a lot easier to make friends with them on your first trip. On the first day I was there I was given a Ugandan name, Namaganda. From then on that was the only name people called me by. It made me realize (or at least hope), that we mean more to this community than the average Mzungus. And by the end I genuinely felt like I had made some solid friendships.

hanging out in the town center

 

Things Don’t Go As Planned More Often Than They Do

This trip was probably one of the most successful problem free trips in the history of our program. Like by a lot. But it still had its share of issues. There is nowhere to buy ladders in Uganda. I accidentally overpaid a delivery guy by a large sum of money. The excavator we hired broke down for a whole morning. Our whole first week was spent mostly waiting for things to happen. These things happen, and the most important thing to do is fix what you can and let everything else play out as it will.

Using a Pit Toilet is an Acquired Skill

I never thought I would learn. By the end I was squatting like a pro.

My Favorite Parts Were Not What I Expected They Would Be

Going into this trip, the thing I looked forward to the most was the work we were going to get done. While that was pretty great, the greatest moments by far were the in between times. When we would have a couple beers in the town center with some of the guys we worked with and learn new words in Luganda. Or the dinner we spent with the priests at the rectory comparing Ugandan and American wedding traditions. Or when I would surprise someone by correctly saying something in Luganda.

I realized that the thing I loved the most is the thing that I had barely thought about before I left. The small moments of feeling like you’re closer to being a part of the community, for however short a time you can be.

road crossing

Dear Diary…

So I’m starting a blog.

I’m not sure where its going yet, because I’m not really sure where I’m going yet.

I don’t know who will want to read it (I wouldn’t), and I’m cool with no one reading it. I just need a journal. Someplace to dump my thoughts and feelings because, let’s be real, my tumblr will never escape the black hole of reblogging photos of puppies and yoga poses that it has descended into.

So here I am. 22 years old. Living in Boston. Studying civil engineering. No idea what I want for the future. Running. Doing yoga. Eating too much Panera. Drinking too much beer and coffee. Constantly relating my life to tv shows. Not reading enough. Trying too hard (and on rare occasions succeeding) to be funny. Wanting to be Tina Fey, but generally coming off as more of a Tina Belcher (or Liz Lemon)

Anyway, enjoy! (whoever you are)