26 November 2008

Wageningen Winter

Hello all,

Winter has arrived in Wageningen.  It snowed quite a bit last weekend and a little bit is left on the ground yet.  The roads have gotten pretty icy as well and some bikers are having some problems.  While waiting for a bus yesterday (that never came) a friend and I saw 2 dozen or so kids fall off their bikes on their way to school.  It was really bad because they all fell in the same spot so we had this feeling of inevitability each time a kid approached.  The bus we were waiting for was to go to a conference in the Hague on farmer adaptation to climate change in the developing countries. It wasn't abound carbon emissions and renewable energy, but more about how a farmer may adapt to drought or flooding regardless of their cause.  I'm not quite sure why the buses were out of commision (strike? bad roads?) but I was rewarded for my wait with an English breakfast made by an authentic Englishman.  

In other news, my thesis is reshaping in the form of moral economy vs. political economy.  Moral economy is the idea that peasants produce crops based on the subsistence ethic, or the goal of producing enough for consumption, buying essentials, and meeting the needs of outsiders.  To meet this need, peasants try to reduce risk by any means possible. This includes using multiple seed varieties, altering planting timing, and planting techniques as well as reciprocity, forced generosity, shared work, and communal land.  The basis idea of moral economy  is the no
tion of economic justice and the definition of economic exploitation.  Political economy, on the other hand, is a more market oriented approach in which each peasant acts according to what is in his or her best economic interest.  I haven't read much about either political economy or moral economy so that is all that I'll say for now on the matter. 

I am also in the process of applying to be a board member of the Wageningen Student Organisation. It is a group that represents the students at Wageningen, calls for action on important issues, and provides services for students.  It is a good chance for me to get active on campus and an added bonus is that I would pay european union tuition.

Otherwise, school is going well. I am struggling with the work load of two group assignments but they will be over and done soon enough.  I will be going down to see Amanda during study week starting a week from Friday.  I hope all of you in the US enjoy Thanksgiving, or as the Dutch say 'Thursday.' 
I found this map on the internet and thought it was kind of funny, enjoy.  You'll have to open it to read it, I can't enlarge it.

Thanks for reading, Andrew


  1. My favorite is "Where there be dragons." Nice map. Happy Turkey day to both of you.

  2. happy thanksgi....oh wait that's right you don't get thanksgiving. is there some dutch version of a pilgrim that takes turkeys from bad little kids like James.