Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Dallaire and Bikes

Last night I went to hear a talk by General Romeo Dallaire, who was the UN commander in charge of the mission in Rwanda during the genocide. It was really fantastic. He was very inspirational, especially regarding Canada's potential for world leadership as a middle power. And he had some very interesting things to say about what leadership qualities the military, government, and humanitarian groups need to develop and what sorts of ethical questions are coming up in the field that just aren't being thought through enough (a good example was the issue of child soldiers and what to do if they were firing on refugees in a church-do you fire back at 9 year olds?) Great talk, can't wait to read my (newly signed) book. I know, I know, I've got quite a book signing addiction.

And on Sunday Alan and I bought bikes! Yay!!! They are cheap second hand ones (mine looks a bit cooler than Alan's, but sadly was $80 and his was half that!). We only had a chance for a quick ride on them before I headed out to UBC for the talk, so I'm looking forward to riding it properly soon. And that phrase, it's just like riding a bike, is nonsense! I feel like an idiot trying to ride the thing. I haven't really ridden since I was like 12, and while ok, I can get on it and not fall over, I don't feel very confident about riding it yet. But I love it already. It will be hard to leave it behind. I sort of get the thing people have with their cars now, for the first time ;) I'm surprised I haven't named the damn thing ;)

"The real university is a state of mind." Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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