Tag Archives: CUbackpackjournalism

Over, but Not Complete

Final thoughts as we come to the end of our journey together. Just like my experience of returning to school, I am not sure that I have had any great AH HA life changing moments from my time in Africa or with the process of creating the film, yet.  A common phrase that began in the 1500’s says “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks,” I just haven’t gotten there. I am certain that at some point something will click and my life will be forever changed but until then I will continue to go on with my life similarly to before I left.

Some of the best moments, for me, were the boat ride on the Nile and conversing with Penny, being able to explore a new place and getting to know the others in the group. Early on I blogged about looking forward to good, bad and neutral and I am happy to report that the experience was overall good or neutral. If I had to change something about the trip, not feeling ill would be it. Also, finding a way to consume food other than rice, beans and chips (fries) would be idea and having hot water to shower would have been awesome but the reality is that is life there. So, my complaints are no more than being of a privileged class.

Building being constructed

I went on this trip without expectations and a very narrow understanding of life outside of America. Even if I tried, having never been outside the USA before, I never would have expected Africa to be what it is. I spent time sketching because I was unable to form complete thoughts and even now that I have returned, although I can form complete thoughts, the information is still very jumbled and am unable to make sense of it. I know Creighton University has set requirements to keep students safe while traveling abroad but I still would love to climb on the structure that was being built across from the hotel we stayed at in Kampala or walk through the markets. Why? Because exploring helps me make sense of things.

I was surprised by several things. The way people live with the land. The number of things being sold on the streets, both because of the way they were being sold and because of the mass amount of items that were clearly imported. The lack of recognizable brands. The difference in advertising. The personalities of the people we encountered and the list goes on. I am uncertain that my brain shut off while we were there, constantly thinking and trying to make sense of where I was and what was going on around me.

(front row) Nat, Tim, Andrew, Zach, Matthew (middle row) Carol, Herbert, Ben, Izzy, Lizzy (back row) Brick, Jacob, John Drawn By: (front row) Brick, Matthew, Brick, Jacob, Izzy (middle row) Herbert, Lizzy, Andrew, Brick, Brick (back row) Ben, Brick, Zach

I found myself at peace observing those around me, watching people interact with each other and the obvious love and compassion for others. There was something about Africa that speaks to me, even though I am not sure what it is telling me. I may not have my thoughts all together or a plan for the future of what to do with what I learned but I have a wonderful group of people that I can call on when I begin to figure it out. I found happiness in the moments spent with others and have combined their sketches as a way to close my adventures to Africa. The trip may be over but the friendships will always be there.

Above the Clouds

Disclaimer: this post is a little late and outdated. Due to spotty WiFi and the fact that I wrote most of this on a Delta napkin, I am publishing now. 

(06/01/18)

A picture above the clouds from Omaha to Detroit.

After about a 26 hour travel journey, we have finally arrived in Entebbe, Uganda. There were definitely a wide range of stages of emotion during this 26 hours: exhaustion, delusion, fear, nervousness, excitement, optimism, and relief. While flying somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, I started thinking about my own conception of time.

These 26 hours felt like the longest amount of time that I’ve engaged in one “activity”. I watched movie after movie, read page after page in my book and the time still passed painfully slow. Then I thought about how differently a 26 hour time period feels during the school year when I’m a student at Creighton. A 26 hour time period goes abnormally fast and usually I can’t fit in as much as I would like in a time frame that small. Life feels like it moves fast in some ways and then slow in others. Then once I whip out my handy phone calculator, I can average that my 20 years of life have accumulated to be around 175,200 hours. That’s a lot of hours but so many of them hold the greatest moments of myself, my experiences and my connections to others.

As this trip to Uganda adds about 432 hours to my life, the fraction seems small in comparison to the 175,200 I have already lived. However, I hope that these 432 hours prove to be eye-opening. I hope that they are challenging. I hope that I am ready for them. Time is something that we all have, but not something that we all use to the best of our ability. I have tried to use a chunk of the time I’ve had on this earth to challenge myself. 

The week before we left for Uganda, we engaged in “video boot camp” at Creighton where we were given a crash course to gain a base knowledge for what we need to know about being videographers. At first I felt overwhelmed and, at times, like I was too far out of my comfort zone. But during our travel time, I realized that does not exist. Making this movie is something that I will be able to accomplish, and I will be able to do it with the best team around (26 hours of travel can really help with group bonding!). For the first time in my life that I will take on the role as a journalist, I hope that the narrative we are telling does justice to the truth. 

Game time is now. I’m ready to have, what I hope will be, a rich 432 hours.

Peace n’ blessings!