After graduating from UW-Madison in May, 2013, I set off on a journey that I knew would change me and I hoped would change the world for the better. A two-month jaunt through SE Asia began with a brief stint working with the Cambodian Organization for Women’s Support (COWS). They were the partner organization of the GlobeMed chapter I was involved with as an undergraduate. My time with them brought boundless joy, challenge after challenge, and an abrupt introduction to the developing world and poverty. It forced me to start coming to terms with my own privilege, and it made me yearn to see and learn more. After interning in Cambodia, I rambled about in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam for about three weeks. Talk about a great time with great people, but it also made me itch to set myself down somewhere for a while and get some real work done. From there, I went to Gulu, Uganda for a six month internship with Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G) – a human rights organization in the north. With GWED-G, I worked on livelihood initiatives with war-affected youth. That internship turned into a job offer, and I’m heading into a new one year contract with GWED-G from April 2014 to March 2015. As their full-time Operations Manager, I’ll be managing the internship program, doing fundraising and grant-writing, managing communications, and doing capacity building for the organization. I am excited to see what this year brings.
Sometimes I over-plan, and I’m working on that. I’m trying to take life and the adventures of living as they come on a day by day basis. I think it’s so important to be present in the moment as often as possible, to appreciate the people you have in your life no matter where in the world they are, and to take opportunities as they come. Yes I work hard, and yes I try to plan my steps carefully in order to make sure the life I envision can become a reality. But I also accept that the steps I create may not be the steps I’m meant to take. I believe in being open to changing your plans 100 different times based on who comes into your life, what you have the opportunity to do, and what your heart tells you is right. So I’d like to tell you where I’m going after Uganda. I’d like to be able to tell myself, too. The truth, though, is that I don’t want to know right now. I hope to know then.
If you’re new to the blog, I hope you enjoy it. If you don’t know me and you’d like to, get in touch. I’m always looking for new friends. I believe life is about the relationships you create and the ties we all have to the people around us. Those networks give life meaning. I also believe strongly in the power of coffee to make me a more productive individual, the value of a 3 am conversation, the importance of passion and compassion, and the superiority of character macaroni and cheese over original.
I still believe people are basically good. More than anything, I’m hungry for the world.