Well, I think I’ll find out for myself! That is…I’ll find out what Uganda is like in June. Here’s where the 2013 resolution of “dream big, and do something about it” comes in!
The past year has been quite crazy. Anyone who has spent any time unemployed will understand this. I’ve spent the last 8 months trying to get a full-time job – turning down other opportunities, and backing down from my volunteering….just in case I got offered a job that might interfere. For example, the students I volunteered with last year get really attached to their reading buddies – so the coordinator and I decided that to leave in the middle of a year would be really hard for the students (and for me as the volunteer). Every month or so I got very close, top candidate close, and still no offers. It was a constant state of stop-start-stop-start-go-nowhere.
Making decisions based mostly on finances (get that full-time salary!) sometimes makes sense, and sometimes it doesn’t. It got to the point where that didn’t make sense, it wasn’t working out. Hence taking an internship that pays little (some though, thank you!) but is a really great experience and opportunity. Taking more classes to finish up my degree at a faster pace. And…..more importantly, taking advantage of opportunities that don’t come up every day.
My school, UCD School of Public Affairs, is offering an international study abroad trip to Uganda in June. It will be a 3-week service-learning trip where we’ll get the chance to see the inner workings of a government office or NGO in Uganda, travel a bit, and soak in the experience of being in East Africa. The group will be staying on a university campus in the capitol city, traveling together a little bit to visit various areas of Uganda, and ending with an awesome women’s leadership conference. Applications are due in March – so it won’t be final until March. But I’m working on my application!
Mike and his family have spent time in Kenya and Tanzania. Hearing their stories and getting a glimpse into East Africa have had me itching to visit for years. After randomly seeing information about the trip on the school’s website, I told Mike, “There is a chance for me to go to Uganda. But it’s really expensive, so I don’t think I’ll be able to go.” (Hello, Debbie Downer wants her signature attitude back.) Without missing a beat, his response to me was “Uganda? If you want to go, you’re going. I will get a third job, but you are going.” Don’t worry – I’m not asking him to get a third job, but that is support everyone deserves from their partner.
It has been exciting to think about and learn about. I’ve been reading tons of books and figuring out what all is needed to make this trip happen. More on all that later I’m sure. It’s exciting to post this out into the world – send prayers and good thoughts that the trip is a go and finances all come together!
Have you done study abroad or spent an extended time somewhere other than your home country? What is your favorite place to travel? Advice for traveling to East Africa/Uganda?