Tag Archives: excited

We all might just be slightly insane

Sitting here a little over a day before taking off for Uganda, I am struck by how quickly the past week of preparation has flown by. It feels like just yesterday that I showed up to the first day of class with a room full of strangers and was completely and totally lost as Tim spewed off facts about anything and everything that anyone could ever possibly want to know about cameras and videography. If I’m being honest with you, it felt as though Tim was blasting me with a water cannon of information. All kinds of terms like: pull focus, f-stop, white balance, and aperture went in one ear and straight out the other as I sat shell shocked in my seat.  A mere week after that first shell shcocking day, thanks  to endless hours of painstaking practice doing everything from taking still shots to running a mock interview, I feel like I could set up and run an interview like a professional videographer. Well, that might be a little bit of a stretch – but you get the point.

Perhaps even more amazing than my exceptionally rapid growth in the realm of videography has been the way that a group of eight strangers that I bararely knew from Adam have come together to form a tight-knit community ready to travel across the globe to film a documentary. It’s really crazy to think about how far that this group of people from all different walks of academic life have come in such a short period of time. I honestly think that we must all  be a little insane to be putting ourselves through something as incredibly stressful, exciting, and all together nerve-wrecking as backpack journalism. There’s really no other way to describe someone who would be willing to learn videography in the span of a week, fly across the world, and film a documentary about refugees in Uganda than slightly insane

The brave and slightly insane 2018 Backpack Journalsim crew in the only slightly decent looking group photo that we took out of about 15 attempts.

At this point in the backpack journalism experience, my excitement about traveling across the world to film a documentary about refugees has morphed into some sort of nervous restlessness similar to what you’d experience right before the big drop on a rollercoaster. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly excited to be able to be a part of Backpack Journalism and to have the opportunity to travel to Uganda. Out of everything that there is to look forward to in the coming days, the opportunity to interview refugees and get their firsthand take on of the the world’s worst conflicts and the trauma that it has caused stands out to me the most. How many people can honestly say that they have visited a refugee camp and had the opportunity to learn about something most people will only read about in a newspaper firsthand? The answer to that slightly rhetorical question is not many. I feel truly blessed to have this unique opportunity and really want to make the most out of it through the documentary film that I am apart of.  I guess this sensation of being at the top of a big drop on a rollercoaster is merely a byproduct of my slight insanity that motivated me to be apart of something like Backpack Journalism in the first place.

 

Baby I Was Born This Way!

Japan
At an amusement park in Japan. I am to the far right!

I believe I was born with a travel gene. My parents  both started traveling internationally at an early age. My mother spent her 18th birthday exploring Europe and my father took family trips exploring Mexico and Ireland. My mom lived in both The Ivory Coast and Japan.   When my parents were first married they spent months traveling around the world. As I child they taught me an appreciation for other cultures and the important things a person learns from the world in traveling. I was able to travel to both Japan and Mexico as a child. I have fond memories wandering a Japanese toy store looking at the Japanese Barbie Dolls, and playing in a park covered in cherry blossoms.  In high school, I was given the opportunity to travel to both Panama and Costa Rica with a program called Global Challenge. Since then I have had a severe case of wanderlust.

Going into college I knew that I wanted to study abroad at some point and time. Unfortunately, that did not ultimately work out. I kept looking into various programs Creighton and the Catholic Volunteer Network had to offer. I have had many friends who have gone on the previous backpack journalism trips. Between facebook creeping albums in an attempt to live vicariously through pictures, or speaking to students if even just briefly about their experiences in either Uganda or the Dominican Republic, I knew that the program was something I needed to seriously look into.

After looking into the trip I decided that it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Though I knew nothing about video making or journalism, the chance to learn about a culture so different from my own was something I just couldn’t pass up.

Now, approximately 32 hours before I leave, I am looking at the clothes, medicine, cameras, and other backpack journalism essentials sprawled across my floor and I am quite honestly a little overwhelmed. So much to pack. So much unknown. I have been learning the ins and outs of making a documentary these past couple days and still have a lot to learn, but I know with practice and help, it will all come together.

I am unbelievably excited to start a new adventure. I can’t wait to board the plane and get there already!