Wednesday, 20 November 2013

GINS Post 3: Consumerism Tumblr Mash Up

For our Global Issue Novel project I chose to read “God Grew Tired of Us” by John Bul Dau with Michael S. Sweeney. John Bul Dau tells the story of his life from living in South Sudan during the civil war to becoming a refugee. He travels to many camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, but luckily in one of the kenyan camps he received a first and secondary education. After graduating from school he has the opportunity to travel all the way to the U.S. He takes the offer and after a couple interviews he is accepted to go along with others, changing his life forever.

My book has many connections to our economic/consumerism unit. During the time frame of the book, they live in a market economy and their government does not provide any services other than the army. There are no taxes to provide money for these services so that is one of the vital reasons why there is no health care as well as roads, schools and sanitation. “I was chopping a tree when a sliver of wood flew off and struck me in the left eye, effectively destroying my vision in it. For many years, until I had surgery in America, I could see almost nothing out of that eye.” (Dau, 27), this shows how there is no public nor even private health care system. The government spent most of the money at the time on the SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) to improve their army with better weapons for example. Some citizens in South Sudan make their living by trading products such as millet/maize or other crops for other products. Others buy products but it is all through the black market because they have a very underground economy, secret from the government. Shilling is there currency, but it sounded like their was not many jobs provided to earn money. John Bul Dau did receive one job during his time in an kenya refugee camp and it was to organize and watch over a section of the camp, but he received very little money. I feel miserable for the people that live their because it is very hard to make a living due to a lack of education, jobs and resources. Thankfully the UN provided lots of food and items such as clothing and blankets to help refugees survive during this difficult time. Food is one of their highest values in their society and they will do almost anything to get it because it is so scarce. Many of the refugees did sell or trade the items such as shirts to receive more food to sustain them for a few more days. It was depressing to see that as more refugees came to trade or sell their items for some food items the demand of their items went down so they received less items and shillings in return.

Scarcity is a major issue in South Sudan due to the dry land and the amount of money they own to buy equipment and produce goods. The lack of education effects it as well because many people are not be qualified for many jobs leading to more poverty.  In recent years in South Sudan, there has been a discovery of oil and now their economy is changing drastically and I believe many jobs are opening up as well as there are a lot more schools to provide education. Many organizations are trying to help as well by providing food/items, schools and services like health care.

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