My inaugural post!
Welcome! The purpose of this blog is really to make my life easier, so that I don't have to send annoying mass emails (annoying for you to receive them, and annoying for me to collect all the addresses to send them), and my friends can check up on what I'm up to whenever they can steal a free moment from their busy lives.
I invite all my friends to post responses if they feel so moved...It lets me know that I'm not writing just for the benefit of my parents, and besides, how else will I keep up with Washington gossip?
For those who don't know where I will be, I'm headed to Rwanda for seven months. I'm scheduled to get back in late July. I'll be working with the United Nations refugee organization (UNHCR). While I was supposed to work in the Kigali main office and compile information on the socio-political situation to send back to Geneva, my job changed yesterday...it looks like I'll be sent up to the north, to Gisenyi and Ruhengeri, to strengthen their returnee program there. They want me to help to reintegrate refugees that are still returning, 11 years after the genocide. I'll be interviewing them and monitoring their progress. I should be up north for at least a month.
I am to leave on January 18, and I have a billion things I have to do before then. I have my malaria medication in hand (doxycycline, not lariam, so I'll be sun-sensitive, but I won't be loopy), and have received every conceivable vaccination. Now I'm starting to pack. If anyone has any suggestions, they're totally welcome. My suitcase is dominated by t-shirts and cotton pants. (If you see rubber Wellies in the next couple of days, please let me know!! It seems like all the cheap stores (Target, K-Mart, Wal-Mart) only carry rubber booties for kids.)
I'm pretty nervous, though I know I'll be just fine. Besides, my first month in Rwanda will be spent in a town that's on the beach!
Here's a map of Rwanda:
(P.S. And if I don't post for a while, just know that this blog is an exercise in reformation....I'm trying to be a lot better about keeping in touch with people, but I have the feeling I might slip a little. If you know me, you know how hard it is to get me to return a call! I'll try to keep up with it, though...)
(P.P.S. Yes, I got the idea for the title of this blog from Michael Sulmeyer.)