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not all those who wander are lost

keep calm, sparty on

USA | Tuesday, 25 September 2012 | Views [254]

Welcome to my blog! If you are reading this, you're probably one of the few who asked me to keep a blog. I am keeping it more for updating friends, and family who I don't normally have constant contact with so read it at your own will. It's also a great way to communicate when I am really out of the country so this will especially be useful when I am on adventures outside of Amurica. I know I'll at least have two diligent readers at least, my mom and dad. :) 

Officially, I have started my travels in East Lansing, Michigan. It's about time too; I was almost starting to feel like a washed up senior.  However, now I am more independent than most under terms that are bitter sweet. If there's one thing the country has prepared me for, it's the ability to get lost in the city. Not to many back roads around here... mostly interstate. Welcome to the real world?
Today was my 6th day at Nyaka AIDS Foundation. To say the least, I absolutely love my job. Being surrounded by amazing and high-spirited people, doing work that I've always wanted to do while simultaneously being able to listen to as much Charlie Daniels and Johnny Cash as I want; it's perfect! Plus my boss is the sweetest most selfless man in the world. Currently my job title is a "communications intern" and it requires work such as updating social media, contacting local and country-wide supporters, designing small tasks, reaching out and other small projects. Right now I am working on a water grant proposal for a district in south-western Uganda. I'd say the extensive research Christchurch has put under my belt has given me a shot at this grant writing, however I am also completely and unconditionally lost at the same time. I think that's my test. 
Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project (NAOP) is a foundation started by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, native of South-west Nyakagyezi, Uganda. Jackson sought out education to escape the reign of poverty. Uganda is a country devastated by the AIDS epidemic leaving 2.5 million children without 1 or both of their parents. Many children are left with kin, usually their grandmother and grandfather. Jackson Kaguri wanted desperately to help his village and started up a school for these AIDS orphaned children so, like him, they could use education to avoid a lifetime of poverty. Nyaka School has grown into an amazing institution that provides these children with a free education, two meals a day, health care, and just a place to make new beginnings and find home. Since then another school has been built with an entirety of 400 students receiving a free education. One at a time right? With these schools a water system (and potentially a second - sound familiar?) has been installed that serves over 21,000 other beneficiaries. A farm has also been started in order to feed the students and some of the surrounding community. As for the guardians of these children, NAOP has also started the grandmother project where we provide micro finance loans and training meetings for these grandmothers to start their own small businesses to support their family. Did you know? In a study, the average female uses about 70% of their income to support their family, where as the male only utilizes only 30% of their earnings. That's why we have started the project for grandmothers, because they are the the backbone that will keep these villages striving!
Can you tell I love my job?? My objective was to get that segment out of the way, so I only talk about it once!  
Lastly, I am living in one of the MSU housing co-ops with 6 housemates. Everyone's fairly to themselves and a bit older than me, more of an on-you-own type of dynamic. I'm forced to appear older under these consequences. But who needs big family dinners when you can have Ramen noodles.

Tags: bitter sweet, charlie daniels, city, country, johnny cash, naop, ramen noodles

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