Today I went to study some Japanese in the library. I read the introduction, read the preface and how you are supposed to write kanjis (didn’t know there were 8 guidelines!) and learned my first 10 kanjis all over again. This time I won’t skimp on the On-yomi and kun-yomi, I will learn them for real.
There are so many magazines downstairs and man, they cover EVERYTHING. You got a magazine about interior design, a magazine for starting musicians, magazine about any sport under the sun. Books! Literature! Guidebooks! Troll messages on 2ch! So much stuff to read and I’ll be damned if I won’t be able to read them all! No more this illiteracy crap, I wanna read!
That said, I got hungry and I went for a walk. I decided to get some instant coffee and some fish from the store, but as I was walking to the supermarket, there was a fund-raising booth for the World Food Programme. A chubby man waved me down and I felt curious about this organization.
Chubby man: “Hello, where are you from?”
Well, shit, I guess I just can’t blend in?
Me: “Estonia. So what’s this booth all about?”
Chubby man: “WFP is guaranteeing the countries in need their daily food supply. Would you like to make a monthly donation for our cause?”
Me: “Sorry, I really can’t right now. Maybe later once I am more settled in?”
He made some acknowledging sounds. I was off the hook, but my inner sperg kicked out. You see, back in Estonia, all my friends were spergs more or less, it’s just Estonia. Or maybe I just hanged out with computer programmers, scientists and tinkerers all my time. My friend Erik was a guy who would simply talk about philosophy and disagree on your views just to get a debate going on.
The man courteously explained to me more about WFP. Apparently they support poor children by giving them a nice school meal every day so their parents wouldn’t have to worry about feeding their children as they go to work. OK, I get it, Africa.
I immediately noticed all these client countries were next to a desert. It’s not like these countries are too lazy or too poor to grow their own food. It’s climate change and desertification ravaging their lands, turning their meager arable land into arid wastelands. I had to ask the hard question.
Me: “So what would happen if WFP would stop giving these countries food?”
Chubby man (shocked): “Excuse me?”
Me: “It’s not like we can keep sending them food forever. You know there’s more desert coming on and the world climate is getting hotter and hotter?”
Chubby man acknowledged my problem statement.
Me: “So we grow in Germany or in Russia or anywhere else where and we send them every day, every month, every year food, but one day they will run away from their countries because there won’t nowhere to live in Ethiopia or South Sudan. Does WFP deal with this kind of problem?”
Chubby man (Flustered): “N-no. Not really. We just send them food”
Me: “I know you and I won’t have any good answers for this problem, but we gotta do something! The situation in Syria happened because they had a serious drought and food prices climbed through the roof! What do you think, what could be done?”
Finally chubby man told me: “Look, I’m just asking for donations over here, okay. WFP deals with sending food for people in need and I’m sorry but I can’t answer you this question.”
I realized I might’ve pressed too hard, but I really appreciated his thoughts on the matter.
Now, I had to do some google search, because there’s no way in hell WFP would simply keep on sending these people food every day and not deal with the root of the problem. I was right. WFP does invest in climate change research and aids in development for more resilient food growth. Also WFP deals with disaster and conflict aid, because it’s actually pretty hard to keep a farm when there’s a war or a natural disaster going on.
What I learned from this experience? First off: I maybe could’ve been a bit better in Japanese, because I ask simple questions but get complex answers. Which is a shortcoming on my part, as I am a curious person and I want to know what’s happening in the world. It’s just the language barrier is the obstacle in this case.
Secondly, I think WFP is doing God’s work and I think if I had more stable income, I would’ve put in some yen. Not monthly, probably, but still something. Food shortage is a serious problem, but so is the imminent climate refugee problem. We gotta do something today, because there’s no other way. Climate wars have already begun, people. Either dig in to your positions or help these people before they become refugees. We can’t let war become the new normal.