Where to start? The fjord. Fiskekake. The boathouse. The K building. World Today. Mariano. Kåre S. Pete. Daniel. MT. Winter. Tea. Being cold. The 3km trip to Flekke shop. The room temperature. The fifth umbrella of the year. A show. Lots of music and the love of my life. Ah, yes, and the IB.
RCN was a transformative experience changing every bit of whoever I was in 2007. An inexplicable place where possibility is infinite as is the bond that unites a community in the middle of nowhere. The explanation I give to people when trying to explain RCN and what it means to me, always falls short of an explanation of some sort of social experiment where we play to mirror what the world is or ought to be. I wish the world was a tiny bit of what RCN is.
The strong foundation of critical thinking and immense curiosity for understanding and celebrating diversity led me to pursue human rights as a passion. Building on Naren’s human rights class (and Matthew’s during my first year) I was fortunate that Mark and Nicky were an endless source of advice and encouraged me to attend Macalester. Pursuing perhaps a traditional UWC path, I studied Political Science and got to intern and work in various places that continued to feed into a set of intellectual and practical skills within human rights. However, as challenging and enriching Macalester was, I’m not so sure it compares with a Kantina conversation about the state of the world over tea. The certainty of really knowing how to fix the world is a feeling I only had in RCN and have every time I am lucky to return. It’s an incredible sensation of possibility, certainty and empowerment.
Decided to dig a bit further into the machinery of policy making I pursued a masters degree in human rights policy in the UK, Sweden and Norway. For two years I was lucky to devote time to the question of how to make and measure human right-led interventions. The time spent in Norway and Sweden was particularly enriching as I realized that some of my social policy biases are indeed, very Nordic. Fortunate to arrive in the London in a pre-Brexit world, I started working with Amnesty International, trying to materialize my Kantina-like feelings. Currently, I work in the Office of the Secretary General giving technical support to Amnesty’s offices around the world. As frustrating and challenging working in human rights might be, I am encouraged by knowing that there will come a time when my dear RCN and UWC friends around the world will start calling the shots, making sure those countless nights of debate, tea and overpriced First Price cookies were well spent.
And, at time of writing this, there is an urgency for UWC to do its part in putting a sustainable future before ambition, and before bigotry. Knowing that we belong to a principled way of thinking about service and peace, I am confident that even in a Trumplandia world, we can be part of a path showing respect, curiosity in the other and love for what makes us different, unique. I have an unshakeable trust in the people of RCN to lead the way.