Monday, June 2, 2014

A Whirlwind Until Now

My roommate and I at graduation - credit to Nelson Yount for the photo.


It has finally come - the first official day of my fellowship, and what a whirlwind it has been that brought me here. It feels like just yesterday that I was graduating from Vanderbilt and refusing to say goodbye to my dearest friends until a reunion three weeks later at a wedding. Well that wedding was yesterday, and I still feel like I'm refusing to actually say goodbye. After living overseas for part of high school, I have learned that time well spent with friends always means more than a goodbye. What's more, I have such internationally-minded friends that many are going to be all over the globe this next year - meaning I will get to see many of them on my travels! Even if that weren't the case, though, I have made friends in college that will truly last a lifetime. Saying goodbye will - hopefully - never truly happen.

That leads me to something I would like to explain further about this blog. It is the friendships and connections I have developed over 22 years that have enabled me to be able to pursue this opportunity (be sure to check out my "Project and Itinerary" page if you want to know more about it). While I am extremely grateful for the support I am receiving from Vanderbilt University and Michael B. Keegan, I know that I couldn't have, first of all, received this award without my friends and family encouraging and equipping me to pursue my passions - nor would I be able to accept it in confidence that I will be surrounded by a "fellowship" of loved ones who will follow my journey around the world. I am eternally grateful for that.


For this reason, I have called this blog "Fellowship, Traveling." I hope it will be a virtual representation of the network I have formed. Being able to keep a blog and connect with all of you that I already know means that the fellowship of support I have had all of my life will continue to travel along with me. I will be comforted when I am traveling alone to know that people are as close as they can be by reading about my experiences. In turn, I hope that all of you will learn more about the issues I will be studying this year because of this blog. It is exciting to think about the mutual nature of this "Fellowship, Traveling." To those of you I do not know personally or will meet over the next year - welcome to the fellowship! I am so excited that you are here.


Now that I've finished that long-winded explanation and expression of my gratitude, I will quickly update all of you on where I am now and what is going on! I arrived at my home for the next ten weeks just outside of Washington, D.C. this afternoon. After a flurry of unpacking and arranging my few belongings (trying to move towards minimalism before actually leaving the country), I am now settled in and ready to begin the next step. I will be interning with International Justice Mission in their aftercare department. I am beyond excited to have this opportunity to learn in depth how aftercare can be delivered from one of the most effective justice organizations out there. I will post more about this organization and what I am doing, but for now I need some sleep before my first day of orientation. Thanks for checking in, everyone!

No comments: