Tuesday, August 2, 2011

America

Hello all I wanted to just send out the news that after a year of travel and exploration I have made it back to the USA! I leave tomorrow for the Watson Fellows conference in Minnesota to talk about my year as well as connect and hear about the year other fellows have passed. I am so happy to be back and am so excited to meet the other fellows who experienced many of the same moments of elation, wonder, excitement, loneliness, frustration and enlightenment that I did.

Reading through my journals in preparation for the presentation I will give at the conference has been almost dreamlike; my notes bringing me back to a highland town in Guatemala, a political rally in Peru, a bus ride in Tanzania, a hospital in Uganda, a conversation had in a Moroccan cafe, or an interview held in an NGO office in Thailand. Writing a 10 minute presentation about an entire year is proving to be an incredibly exciting and challenging process. Reflecting on such diverse sites, people, and experiences has resurfaced and sparked so many emotions, opinions, and ideas. I feel like I am going through a sort of input overload; not only am I reliving moments of my year but I am also looking back at them from a bit of a distance. This year did not only teach me in the moment but has catalyzed new lessons and thoughts now that it is over.

Thank you all so much for following my ruminations and sending me the quick email or comment. It was so great for me to know that there were so many people supporting me and thinking of me from afar. I will publish my final report here once I have written it so you can all see what sense I have been able to make of the lessons learned.