Where to start. Of course all my predispositions about this place were so wrong. It is a lot more modern than I first imagined, at least a ton more than Ghana which is my best comparison. There are a lot of modern amenities and companies that we have in the USA. McDs, Starbucks, 711.. You name it, the culture is extremely tourist-driven in the major cities and, after visiting, I can totally understand why! This place is incredibly beautiful with a culture full of complex tradition and humility. It’s naked, genuine, and admirable…
Many people have asked me where I’m going and what I’m doing. I figured it would be a lot easier to put it all in one place instead of verbalizing it over and over, where many (including myself) often miss the details. Well, here’s a place to check back in if anyone ever is found wondering where I went, or what I’m up to.
But first, I want to send out a huge thankyou to everyone who has supported, encouraged, and guided me through this complicated and, often, scary process. This dream would never have been possible without all of your help. So from the bottom of my heart, Thankyou!
As for the next six months, this is what it has ammounted to:
January 23: I leave for Bangkok, Thailand, where I will meet up with my “study abroad program” through Pacific Discovery. If you follow the link, it will give you a detailed summary of what’s happening through this unique program.
In brief, I will be traveling for 2 months throughout four different countries-Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia-volunteering with different NGOs (Nongovernment organizations), mountain trekking, staying with local families, and engaging in various cultural practices (such as a few days in Buddhist monastery!)
My study abroad trip will finish at the end of March, and I will begin the second part of my journey as an intern for an amazing NGO that rehabilitates women who have been through adverse circumstances called the Mahima Care Home in Kolkata, India. I will be helping to construct a local campaign to get the community more involved with the Mahima Care Home, as well as assisting with a mobile medical in rural areas. I am beyond excited and blessed to be able to work with such extroardinary women over there.
Depending on funding and the timing of our project, I am not exactly sure how long I will be working with the Mahima Home, but the earliest departure would be June.
At some point, Kyle Beall and I plan to meet up after he finishes up his semester in India, and do some free traveling.
We are currently searching for paid work to extend our stay for as long as it feels right.
As for the traveling itself, Steves summed up my aspirations quite well: “…to travel simply, openly, and with an uncluttered mind.”