Pre-Travel Thoughts

We’re one day away from leaving, but I still don’t think what we’re doing has fully set in. While I travel often with my family, the farthest I’ve ever gone from home is Canada. Now, over the past six weeks or so, I’ve thrown myself into an adventure halfway across the world to participate in a project to help others. The living conditions will be different, to say the least. We’ll be traveling all around, with plenty of long interview days to come. The things we see may be sad, horrible, or confusing. At its core, we’ll be living in a different world for 18 days.

I don’t regret it.

I’m very eager to both learn the story of the people in the region, as well as share it with others. This last week of boot camp covering the social atmosphere of Africa has taught me even more about what we’ll be stepping into. The numbers of Sudanese refugees alone in the world has surpassed the two million mark, while Uganda is housing one million refugees within its borders. This region of the world is in dire need of help and direction, and I was shocked to find out how many people the situation has affected.

Map displaying the border between Uganda and Sudan

South Sudan’s situation has indirectly drawn the nation of Uganda into the mix as the two share a border. Thousands of families looking for a safer place have found themselves moving from their country and into Uganda. Because of this, the northern region of Uganda has experienced a change in composition over the last several years. The notion that people just a day of travel away can live out a life different than mine in virtually every way is something I’ve been familiar with for the last several years, but can still bewilder me at times. Being born in the United States and gifted the life I have is a blessing in itself. I hope that this trip can bring more people to ponder this idea, and what can be done to help others.

About Matthew Bryan

My name is Matthew Bryan. Born in San Jose, California yet forever self-identifying as a Coloradan through and through thanks to my home in Broomfield. I'm a newly formed journalism/PR double-major, with a biology minor to go along with it. I'm obsessed with NBA basketball to an unhealthy point, but I'm more than happy to talk about dogs or any sports.

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