Friday, May 17, 2013

The Very Beginning


There isn't a country I would not like to visit.  There are indeed countries I should not or cannot visit, but none that I would not like to visit.  This curiosity is what drew me to my upcoming travels to Uganda.
Earlier this year, I was introduced to Tawi , a new student lead organization on campus focusing on professional and international development as an option to grow beyond the classroom (you can find more information about Tawi here).  While I was originally drawn in by the free ice cream at the info session, its mission began to speak to me.  Tawi stresses sustainable change similar to what I have learned through my social welfare studies.  Instead of showing up as an outsider asserting our expertise, we need to go in to ask questions, learn, and listen.
I am not going to Uganda because I aim to elicit change.  I am not going to Uganda because I aim to provide aid.  I am not going to Uganda because I think I am a greater expert than Ugandans.  I am not going to Uganda because my culture and experience have lead me to understand the right way.
I am going to Uganda so that I can begin to understand aspects of another country.  I am going to Uganda to explore the picture of poverty in a country other than my own.  I am going to Uganda because I hope to gain experience and perspective on how individuals who are part of another culture are different yet very much the same.  I am going to Uganda to ask questions, to learn, and to listen.
Hopefully I will find time to keep up with this blog, but it will be a bit of an experiment.  I may post daily, weekly, sporadically, or not at all but I hope to write at least enough as to not forget the good and the bad and the in-between.

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