Wow what a week we had in World Regions at Virginia Tech! We got to Skype with Aung San Suu Kyi the Noble Peace Prize winner and leader for democracy in Burma. After much back and forth and finally getting her to see the video of our request she agreed to Skype with us. But it actually didn’t go down that smoothly…

On Sunday night, the night before we were suppose to Skype with her, there was some confusion with another university requesting a chat and we were told by her handlers that we were not on the schedule. Boyer and I proceed to freak out – obviously. And this is like 11pm at night before its suppose to go down and we’ve got the room reserved and press alerted, etc. Boyer writes a heart felt letter on how we’re all set up and the students are very excited… and we wait for a response, and wait…

I think it was about 1am when they agreed that she could Skype with us, hooray! They did want to have a test at 6am our time though, which was on me! So after a few short hours of sleep I was up at 5:45 sitting on my couch wearing a VT hoodie ready to test. The guy I chatted with was her tech guru, my age and wearing a Stanford University t-shit in a room that looked like any college dorm room – awesome. Everything worked on our ends and we were ready for that nights chat with Aung San Suu Kyi.

As usually I was there really early getting stuff set up in Burruss. We had a laptop on boxes on top of a cart right next to the screen so the camera would pick up the person asking the question and the audience behind. We were all set up with the audio and video connections working – I then unplugged them around 15 minutes before the chat when Aung San Suu Kyi people called on Skype. I was using my headphones to talk with them, coordinating the time on our end and theres (morning for them). Their camera has been on themselves and after we had everything running, focused on an empty couch with a painting of Aung San behind it. As I’m staring at the screen (with no one else around me) I see Aung San Suu Kyi sit down and them start to adjust her mic. Ahh! Tears totally formed in my eyes, this is so amazing!

We then started the Skype, Boyer introduced her and had the students do a chant of democracy and then waited for her response…and no volume. Eek! No sure what happened but the head phone jack on the laptop just stopped worked. Maybe it didn’t like being switched back and forth from headphones to room speakers. Either way we had her hang up and call and back and still not work….so we did the next best thing and I held a mic up to the laptops speakers! Hey it worked!

All and all she is a amazing, eloquent, dedicated women and I was honored to have listened to her and seen her via Skype. The students asked some amazing questions and it was great to see some students originally from Burma get so excited and emotional to have the chance to speak with her. I think the students were generally moved and I checked out #wrvt twitter hashtag later and saw some amazing comments.

Here is the recording from our camera that night:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Post Navigation