I spent about 9.5 hours today with a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. True story. From about noon until 9:30pm. It was an interesting day to say the least. The reporter was here to talk to people about issues of poverty, in particular trade, and how we, as people of faith, are responding.
We started with lunch at the World Hunger Relief Farm, right outside of Waco. We ate with the workers, volunteers, interns, and all the other people who somehow ended up there. The farm is great, everyone is so laid back and welcoming. I did my service learning for one of my social work classes there and loved it. We talked about hunger issues and how they relate to trade and economic policy and all that over lunch. After the farm, we went back to the School of Social Work and had a discussion time with some of the undergrad and graduate students about what we're doing and why we're doing it, as Christians and social work majors at a Baptist university. We then met with the Dean of the school and a guy from the administration and talked more about the role of the School of Social Work and all that. We talked about the Jubiliee Initiative that a group of us are working on with the Dean. Then we had to take off to our Baylor Students for Social Justice meeting, which the reporter eventually came to. Over some tea we talked about the 1 John 3 Campaign, the stuff we've done with the ONE Campaign, the U2 concert, and some stuff we're planning for later on in the semester. Next was dinner over at Anali's. We had Guatemalen food and ice cream for dessert. We talked more about the 1 John 3 campaign, Baylor students, and much, much more. Finally, at about 9:30pm, I rode with the reporter over to the Hilton so that he could check in and I could put in my two weeks at Damon's. Anali followed so that I could have a ride home. The reporter was not so good with directions. Pretty much someone had to ride with him everywhere we went so he wouldn't get lost.
He was also extremely interesting. He's lived overseas for the past 20-25 years, including in South Africa during and after apartheid. We asked him about his most memorable interviews and he was talking about a refugee he interviewed in Eastern Europe and then as an afterthought says "oh, and I had the chance to interview Nelson Mandela before I left South Africa. That was pretty memorable." WHAT?!?! Yeah, I'd think that would be pretty memorable. And here we all are, just some students at Baylor, and he's interviewing US? We felt so inadequate after that.
The article should come out sometime before the WTO meeting in December. It should be interesting to see what he included and what was left out. I mean, he only spent 9.5 hours with us!! And we covered everything from the living wage, to Baptist politics, to fair trade, to Bono and Chris Martin and everything in between.