Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm Going Back!

It’s been almost 5 months since I unpacked my bags from my first trip to Tanzania.  Now, I find myself repacking, less than 5 days away from the departure time for my next trip to Tanzania.  As some of you know, I’ve been blogging for JustUsFriends, the nonprofit started by Jasen Benton, a volunteer I met on my last trip.  This summer I will be back in Moshi working with Jasen and JustUsFriends.  I won’t go into all of the details here, but you can visit the link for JustUsFriends on the right to find out more about all of the progress they have made over the past several months.  I will have much more to share with you over the next couple of months.  I’ll update the blog more often once I am in Tanzania and will keep you all up to date on all of my activities.

I was recently awarded a Boren Fellowship through the National Security Education Program and the Department of Defense to study Swahili and conduct some of my own independent research in Tanzania.  At the end of the summer I will be travelling to Washington D.C. for an orientation and convocation ceremony for the fellowship.  Then, I will be flying to the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania for language and culture studies at the State University of Zanzibar in the fall.  The fellowship covers all of my studies and living expenses through June of 2012. 

The word “ecstatic” does not even begin to explain how excited I am to have received the Boren Fellowship.  Not only does it provide an opportunity to pursue some opportunities that I couldn’t have pursued without it – it also opens the door to several exciting career opportunities within the federal government.  As cliché as it may sound, I am truly honored to have received this fellowship and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

So, now that you’re caught up on the past few months, join me over the next twelve and I’ll post more often and have plenty of stories to tell.  In the meantime, I’ll be spending the next 5 days trying to figure out how to pack a year’s worth of clothes, toiletries and beef jerky into 2 bags!

Oh, and one more thing:  You are welcome to visit anytime!!  Karibu, Tanzania!

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