“If I take one more step, it will be the farthest away from home, I’ve ever been.” – Tolkein/Jackson’s Samwise Gamgee
“Remember what Bilbo used to say: ‘It’s a dangerous business…walking out your door, you step out onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Tolkein/Jackson’s Frodo Baggins
Welcome family, friends, students, professors, colleagues, and interested followers. Many of you may know me, some of you may not. I hope that by the time this blog is finished and my current adventure has come to an end, I will have many followers of whom I will not have had the pleasure to meet. I write to you know from the Chicago O’Hare International airport, and I begin with a quote from The Lord of the Rings, a tale which has captured my imagination since I was introduced to it. If you are not a fan, I hope you don’t mind the occasional quote, when I feel it is appropriate to my journey. Once my plane leaves the U.S., I too, will be further from home than I have ever been (although my mode of travel will not involve a step). I am about to ‘step out onto the road’ and many unknown trials, as well as fortunes are sure to come my way. I hope you will follow me as I too try to ‘keep my feet’ on my new endeavor.
I will be studying in Gaborone, Botswana at the University of Botswana. Through the CIEE organization, my program will involve pre-health work, including volunteering in hospitals and clinics in Botswana. Many of our classes will then be directed around our experiences in order to facilitate our learning about the culture and healthcare of Botswana. I will do my best to keep this blog updated as often as possible, as I continue to find ideas and events worth sharing to my friends in the U.S.
I also would like to thank the Gilman International Scholarship, the Discovery Scholarship, the Christian Lieding Scholarship, the John E. Bowman Travel Grant, the Susan T. Buffet scholarship, and all other UNL awards I have received –without these funds, the financial strain of a trip such as this one would not be possible.
In addition, I want to thank my many mentors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as friends and family who have supported me throughout college and my life. Your support has helped inspire me to achieve all that I can, and to follow the path laid before me with courage. Thank you to all who have been involved in my life!
I hope you all will continue to follow me as I live and learn in Africa!