With the Rwanda trip quickly approaching, volunteers are busy getting the most out of their time at home while prepping for their month-long journey at the same time. Here is an update as to how getting ready for travel is going for some of the Books & Beyond participants:
Max Breitinger (2011-2012 PR Team Co-lead, 2012 – 2013 Co-Student Director): So far, I have done nothing to prepare for the trip as far as packing. I haven’t even looked at the packing list since class… I have been busy working (so that I can bring some of those new $100 bills) and preparing my application for medical school (almost done – just have to finish my personal statement).
When I told my boss and co-workers about the trip, they were shocked and confused. They make a lot of jokes about what I am doing and where I am going, and I realize that they are trying to be funny but I am appalled by their ignorance and insensitivity. I guess I didn’t realize how prevalent stereotypes and misconceptions are. I am offended by their comments but I am not personally hurt. I just can’t wait to get there and see what it’s really like and do what we can to help. As soon as I send in this med school application I will dive back into studying the Kinyarwanda note which are on my desk and I will start checking things off my packing list at least one week before the trip.
Priyanka Jayanthi (2011-2012 Writing Partner, 2012-2013 Rwandan Culture/Pen-Pal Lead):
My summer’s been pretty hectic. I have a summer babysitting job so I’m there every weekday from 8:30-4:30. It’s a lot of fun though but very exhausting! Due to that, I haven’t had much time to think about Rwanda! I got all my shots out of the way in May and I’ve got basically everything on the packing list except for some snack bars.
Aaricka Washington (2012-2012 Documenter, 2012-2013 Documenting Team Lead):
I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am for the Books & Beyond trip to Rwanda, Africa! It will definitely be a life changing experience for us all. My summer so far has been absolutely wonderful. I didn’t really do much in May other than spend time with my family and get all those nasty shots at IUPUI Health Center. A few weeks ago, I went to the National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans, Louisana. It was such a great opportunity to meet and network with professionals and colleages alike. I even had the opportunity to tell Dr. Steve Perry, the founder of Capital Preparatory Magnet School and CNN Education Contributor about the Books & Beyond project! He seemed really excited about the program.
When it comes to getting ready to go to Rwanda, I think that I am almost prepared. The hard part – meaning the shots – is over, so all I have to do now is buy my anti-malarial prescription, go to Goodwill for a few items, take care of all the things on the list, write storyboards/scripts for shooting video, buy a few good books and pack! Hahaha! I know what you’re thinking! But in all honesty, I believe that will all be a breeze to accomplish! I am blessed to have this opportunity and I can’t wait to begin my journey with you all.
Briana Petty (2011-2012 Documenting Team Lead, 2012-2013 Leadership Development Coordinator):
This summer has been nothing short of organized chaos everyday. I just finished a summer school course and have been working to save money for Rwanda and my next big trip (studying abroad in Peru!). I’ve also been building my journalism portfolio and resume. As far as packing goes, my mom has been helpful about picking things up that I need at the store and there is a growing pile of items for my trip accumulating in the hallway – I get more and more excited every time I look at it!
My family is going on a camping trip and I plan on studying my Kinyrwanda notes and taking care of some very important pre-trip businesses when I take a break from hiking. One of my main tasks is to develop a pallete for and decide which protein bar(s) I like best. (So far, Clif Bar Oatmeal Raisin Walnut is taking the lead!) I can’t wait to begin new adventure.