Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Foundations of Peace (and Conflict)

It's interesting being in a space where you introduce yourself multiple times a day. I'm Diana - in the Peace Ed stream, from Canada - no not Toronto... Why did I decide to come here?... over and over. And I wonder, yet again - who am I? I suppose soon we will start remembering all the people we introduce ourselves to, but for now...

In some ways, this feels like a place I have been journeying towards for a long time and in other ways - a giant leap in a new direction. I have been thinking about grad school for a bit so in that way, this seems like a great fit. People have been often asking, why did you choose peace education (there are 9 streams and they all look super interesting!). I don't know why I find this question so hard - maybe because I am trying to find a short answer. It's like the answer to who I am - always evolving. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend... I am an activist, a dreamer, a schemer, a questioner, a pain in butt...

School has begun this past week with Foundations in Peace and Conflict. Each morning all the students are in one lecture and then we break into seminar groups to discuss and engage in the topics differently. We have been looking at models and methods of conflict resolution, defining peacekeeping, peacemaking, peacebuilding and understanding the many factors in conflict. How do you define conflict? How do you define peace? In such a diverse community of students, the perspectives have been broad and the experiences share amazing. All in all it has been interesting. There are two weeks left in the course. We are now beginning to look at what causes escalation in conflicts and what are the factors that can support the reduction or conclusion of them.

Yesterday afternoon I went to San Jose. Over the last week there has been a march around Costa Rica protesting open pit gold mining. Yesterday, following the march there was a rally in a park with bands, dancing and speeches. It was great to be surrounded by Spanish, music and dance.

So begins another week.
Peace to you!


  1. The question of who we are is almost unanswerable, I've decided. I had someone recently ask me to describe them in one word, wow. What a great way to make sure you are short-changed. Probably only the deceased could be described, in their state of being deceased, with only one word.

    I think that describing who one is, is like trying to describe a kaleidescope, always changing. The fundamentals, the colours, remain the same but the combination is always different. And as with colours, the fundamentals of ourselves aren't very easily put into words.

    Glad you're having an interesting time.
    Love Trish

  2. you inspire me Diana!!!! Keep trekin' and searching for little pieces of you in beautiful & interesting places!


  3. Good questions--I love all the thinking we're doing here, though my head is spinning from all the levels of analysis that I, too, am beginning to apply to the simplest questions. ;) Hugs and Alberta prairie love!