For my event analysis this week I participated in the noon to six-cell phone turn off. The assignment was too “Turn off your cell phone for six hours to bring awareness of the Congo's conflict over coltan, a natural resource that is used in ALL cell phones. Eighty percent of the world’s reserve of coltan comes from the Congo. Over 5 million people have died as a result of the scramble for coltan and other natural resources in the Congo.” This was a really interesting and actually a fun assignment.
Turning off my cell phone for six hours was bit of an inconvenience for me, but overall it wasn’t so bad. I hadn’t realized how much I rely on my phone for simple things such as time. I had to find clocks everywhere to find out the time or ask someone. I also couldn’t text my roommates to meet me in Boulder for lunch or call my mom to tell her how my Math exam went. As frustrating as it was I realized I became more appreciative of what I have. Every time I went to look at my phone I would remember why it was shut off and it really made me wonder what my life would be like if we didn’t have cell phones. Would life be better for people in the Congo if cell phones weren’t in high demand in the U.S.? The responses to my voicemail message about the Congo were interesting and entertaining. My first message was from my mom, “Catie, I think your voicemail said something about turning your phone off to raise awareness about something going on in the Congo. I think it’s really great you are getting involved with something like this, call me after to tell me more about it.” So I did call her and I told her all about what I was doing and informed her on the issues in the Congo. It felt great to able to know I was informing people about concerns in the Congo. My friend’s responses were the most entertaining ones. I received messages such as “Wait, what are you doing? Or Whats going on in the Congo? or even you go girl!” As uplifting and hilarious as these messages were it made me a little worried that people didn’t seem to know what is going on in the Congo.
Dickinson’s poems for this week all share a common theme of death, which connects to my Congo event. Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for death” illustrates a ride to death. The people aboard the carriage watch the world of mortality around them as they pass into the afterlife. I can only imagine that this situation must be what people in the Congo go through everyday. They are afraid and never know if each day they will wake up to death or keep suffering through this terrible war. Also in Dickinson’s poem “ Success is counted sweetest” she writes “As he defeated-dying- On whose forbidden ear The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear.” This means that while the soldier is defeated and dying he is still triumphant, meaning you must fight for what you believe in and for what is best for you and your country. In the Congo people are fighting to stay alive and fighting to help end this horrible war. As Dickinson says “To comprehend nectar Requires sorest need.” To achieve what you want you must fight and sometimes suffer for what you believe in to make it come true and change the world around you.