Apr 3, 2008

Free Rice!

Hello everyone!

I am Mindy, one of the fabulous 3 new spring interns for Asia America Initiative. Coming to D.C. from the Bay Area in California is definitely a huge change for me. I'm still getting used to the freezing temperature here..brrrrr, and am also starting to adapt to a more "serious" city. But I am super thankful that I actually get to walk to places now, instead of being over-dependent on my car. Because you know in Cali, not having a car is like not having legs. 

Being the big food person as I am, I've been pretty impressed with the local eateries here, especially at Dupont Circle. They've got some fine thin crust pizza and italian cuisine! However, being a true Taiwanese, I have yet to come across a teaplace that sells tapioca/boba/pearl drinks!! Wussup with that? Are they all hiding from me? I'm desperately craving that stuff, so please if anyone knows of some place with good tea drinks, hit me up!

Anyway, enough with the self-introduction...Today is day 6 for me at AAI and we already have some exciting and important campaigns to work on. First, as many of you may know, there is a pretty severe rice shortage in Southeast Asia, and the Philippines in particular, is getting hit hard. See article .

Jen (fab intern #2), Hanayo (fab intern #3), and I created a cause on Facebook today called "Help Mindanao farmers grow rice" to rally support and spread awareness among our friends and communities about this global issue. Due to regional instability and mismanagement and corruption in the rice industry, these poor farmers have been discouraged to grow anything because of the lack of profit from harvests and unfair trading practices. It's such a shame because Mindanao has such huge potential to mass produce rice– it is one of the only areas in SE Asia with year round growing season, ample water and no tropical storms. 

Helping Mindanao farmers grow rice looks like a great solution to me, because 1) they can be self-sufficient in growing their own rice and not be dependent on foreign imports, 2) economic development from the rice trade will strengthen the peace process and deter armed conflicts in the Muslim region, 3) it will ultimately prevent political and social unrest in the whole nation. So they really need all the help they can get to mobilize themselves to produce rice for their country. 

So what can you do to help out?

Specifically, you could:
  • Join our cause on Facebook- "Help Mindanao Farmer Grow Rice"-and donate what you can. 
  • Be a member of our Facebook group- Asia America Initiative
Generally, you could:
  • Log on to freerice.com and hone your vocab skills to donate free rice to needy refugees!
  • Not waste rice...get half-portion rice meals if you know you can't finish. Greediness and wastefulness is not attractive as my mom would say..
That's all for now kids, stay tuned for more later!