Thursday, July 23, 2009


Two years ago I went on a bus trip with 20 African students. I am very excited and happy to be on the trip again this year. This program and this trip are very near and dear to me. When I had only been at this job for a few months, my boss asked the staff if we had ideas for a grant from the US State Department that would bring students from Africa to study some aspect of America for a month and had to include a travel aspect. I immediately thought of the Civil Rights Movement and touring throughout the South. I had always envisioned a final trip, echoing the Freedom Ride, ending in Washington, D.C.

Two years ago, this trip cemented my commitment and love for my job. This year it is a reward for working my ass off these past few months. This is our last year for this grant, the last year for this amazing program of which I'm so proud to have played a part.

I've gotten to be quite close with this group of students as well. They are leaders in their communities and frighteningly intelligent and have challenged my way of thinking about so many things. I look forward to the next ten days of new adventures, thought-provoking conversations, laughter, and tears.

Yesterday we began the trip by driving to Little Rock, visiting Central High School, the Capitol building, the Clinton Museum and School for Public Service and the new Heifer Village at Heifer International world headquarters. The weather down here in the South is AMAZING: cool, breezy, and astonishingly mild. This can't be July!

I'm writing this from our hotel in Memphis, which is awesome. I have a fantastic view of the Mississippi River and we are very close to downtown and Beale Street.

I still need to get a memory card reader for my camera so I can upload all the photos I've been taking. I can't wait to show them all to you, though! Arrghhh..Expect updated entries.

It's late. I'm beyond tired...more later...lots more writing and pictures.


Stephanie said...

Love that you also bring your journey here, so we can all enjoy it through your eyes and your heart. You truly are lucky!

smoore said...

What an amazing experience you're getting to have! I think I ran into a group of your students at the Farmer's Market last weekend- are they from Rwanda?