Friday, November 18, 2011

More Good News!

Important things have happened for me this past week! I received a mini-grant from the Student Government Association at Johnson State to cover a small portion of my expenses while in Rwanda. I have also been receiving amazing donations from faculty members at JSC, which I am very grateful for.

I also just met with a sociology professor at JSC to set up a 3 credit independent study for an upper level interdisciplinary course called Genocide. I will be completing a majority of the work for this course while in Rwanda. The President of JSC, Barbara Murphy, has agreed to waive the tuition costs for this course through the President Fund. I am extremely grateful for this offer!

Thanksgiving is this coming week, and all I can think of is how thankful I am for everyone who has supported me so far. I can't wait to share stories with you all very soon!

And I can't wait to see these shining faces again!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Right place, right time.

This past Halloween was extremely uneventful as far as Halloween activities including pumpkin carving, dressing up, and eating candy goes. At the same time, it was a day that involved taking the first major step of my journey to Rwanda! I purchased my airline tickets through an organization called Fly For Good and I will officially be leaving for Rwanda on Thursday, January 12th, 2012. Fly For Good is an organization that provides discounted airline tickets for people who's mission includes volunteering for nonprofit organizations. By going through this organization, I saved about $900 on my roundtrip airline tickets!

Now, this sounds like incredible news, right? Well, a representative from the organization called me last night at around 5:30 right when my parents and I were about to leave for Burlington to grab dinner and see Brandi Carlile. So I get this call from an unknown number, and it's Jill, the representative I had been working with to purchase my tickets. She was calling because they were about to cancel my booking because I hadn't submitted a letter from Les Enfants De Dieu verifying my volunteer work. Normally in the states, all you would have to do is call up the orphanage and get them to send in the letter and you'd be good to go. No. There was no calling up Rafiki (the project manager of the orphanage) to have him send this in. Suddenly I thought I would not have this amazing flight deal. I asked Jill if there was anything I could do to keep my booking, and she said to fill out a form that she would e-mail to me that I should fax in as soon as possible. Another problem... I don't have a fax machine! Problem solved, we have a scanner! So I filled out the form, scanned it in, sent it off, and just like that my booking remains in tact.

That phone call couldn't have come at a better time. I don't have a printer, scanner, or fax machine at my apartment in Johnson, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to do that if we were en route to Burlington! If that call came at any other time of day, I wouldn't have had access to any of the technologies that were required to save my flight booking. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!