Welcome to my first attempt at blogging! This is the site I’ll be using to share my experiences with family and friends while studying abroad in Kampala, Uganda this spring.
As I write this, I am 7 days and 6 hours away from the flight that will take me across the Atlantic for the first time in my life. I’m extremely excited as well as a bit nervous. It will undoubtedly be a great adventure, an invaluable learning experience, and (i hope) a lot of fun.
I will do my best to update this blog regularly (I’m aiming for weekly), but please do know that my internet access will likely be limited and slow, so posting may not always be an option. I should also be available via my tufts email and facebook, but obviously the same limitations on the internet will apply. (I am actually kind of excited to get away from the constant state of connectedness that has become so normal in our society!)
But anyway, here’s a llitte about what I’ll be doing: I’m traveling with SIT Study Abroad in their Development Studies program. The program is not through Tufts but I will receive one semester of Tufts credit for the classes I’ll be taking while abroad. There are about 30 other students from all over the US also attending the program. Each of us will be living with a different host family in Kampala for the bulk of the time that we are there, but we will also be spending time in other parts of Uganda and traveling to Rwanda. The first 8 weeks of the program are filled with intensive classes and field learning experiences (like visits to NGO sites). Then the next 6 weeks will be spent interning with a nonprofit that is operating in Uganda and conducting research related to their work.
I’m looking forward to the semester because it promises to delve into a lot of issues I am passionate about, and also to give me a sense of what my life might look like if I pursue a career in international public health. I’m especially interested to explore the impacts of traditional “aid” and to discover whether nonprofits (like those I might consider working with after graduation) really help the people of a given region in the long run, or if, as William Easterly and other critics suggest, they actually do more harm than good. I figure that this semester will either affirm my leanings toward international public health as a career option or it will show me that it is not what I want to do. Either way, I’m better off. It will also just be terribly interesting to live somewhere so different, and a lot of fun to meet a bunch of new people.
Alright, I have rambled on for long enough considering I haven’t left yet. I’m sure I will have far more interesting things to say once I arrive. Thanks for reading:) -CMK