Since coming to this country, I have met so many wonderful people and I find myself inspired by someone new every day.
As a young American woman traveling in Africa, I am finding myself especially impressed by a few of the other Muzungus that we have encountered who are living and working in Africa.
On Wednesday, we were able to stop by the office of Invisible Children for Gulu, an organization that is doing so much for education, development, and progress in Northern Uganda. We met one young woman there who just graduated from University of California at Santa Barba. She is spending six months working with Invisible Children as an intern, and when we met her, she seemed very smart, knowledgable, and excited to be there. I walked away from this meeting feeling so excited, not only because of the wonderful work of IC, but also because of how cool this American was and how much I would love to be in her shoes.
Later in the week, we met up with one of my sister Erin’s friends from JVC in Bethel, Alaska, Kayla. She is working for a fair trade company called One Mango Tree and will spend a total of six months here in Gulu. We we able to stop by the One Mango Tree’s compound and see the whole operation: we saw the woman cutting the fabric, making the purses, and we raided there small store, leaving them happily depleted. Like the young woman at invisible children, Kayla and her job struck a cord in me. She could easily have been working an entry level job in the USA, oblivious to the needs of those across the globe; instead, she intentionally placed herself in a position to witness and contribute to progress in the developing world.
Finally, on Friday, we spent the day at a Jesuit School called Ocer (O-chay). While we were there, we encountered two students from the Jesuit College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. They had just arrived at Ocer and would be spending 10 weeks teaching and helping out at the school.
In my mind, these are the ‘cool kids’ among young Americans. It is people like this from whom I draw inspiration.
Earlier in the week, Sara and I were talking about how, for our careers, what we really want is to be cool; we want to do and see amazing things and have as many adventures as we can fit in.
I have no idea what life has in store, but I really hope that one day, I can join the ranks of the ‘cool kids.’