Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How it all began...

When Nick Minas called me on a rainy Seattle morning I almost hung up. I thought he was calling about my expired credit card. I was tired of thinking about that expired card.

But then I heard the words "congratulations," and "finalist." I was truly puzzled, until I was finally able to form a coherent thought that did not figure my credit card into the whole schema. The contest! I was a finalist in the Win a Trip with Nick Kristof contest!

I ran around the apartment in circles and mouthed "I am a finalist!!!" to Rachel. She shot me a look that said both "congratulations" and "have some game!" Whatever.

I can't really tell you what happened for the subsequent hours because I was too excited to take notes. But what I can tell you is that I spent the following days religiously watching the Win a Trip site on the NY Times and on Kristof's MySpace page. I spent a week in total diarrhea-provoking anxiety, wondering if I would be THE ONE to go on a reporting journey to Africa with Nick Kristof.

On the eighth day, god created dissapointment. I learned I was not THE winner, but I was still special and all that jazz, and I was the winner of a $100 gift certificate to the NY Times store (which I have yet to receive).

I moped around a bit, but I didn't cry I'll have you know. I emailed friends and family to say I was not the one. I slumped in my chair at work and tried to settle back in to my anonymous life as student, friend, spouse, and dutiful reader of college essays. I tried not to think of what could have been. I tried to move on to the next dream (my mother's advice).

But then I realized that if I wanted to go to Africa so damned badly I should go. I mulled it over. I pleaded with Rachel, more than once, so she'd know I wasn't just on the rebound from the Kristof contest. She kindly agreed to support my efforts wholeheartedly.

So, I am going to Africa because who needs a Pulitzer prize winning journalist? Not me!

I leave on Tuesday June 12th, for the Pearl of Africa - Uganda. There, I'll work with an RN/PhD and her niece on a community assessment project in the Mukono District of Uganda. I'll be staying at Noah's Ark orphanage, home to 75 children who landed there for a variety of reasons. (www.nacmu.org) NACMU is hoping to establish a medical clinic and birth attendant program for the village families. Our work there will help to lay the groundwork for that project.

After the Win a Trip contest I realized that I had a captive audience who read my essay and were interested in what I had to say. So I'm gonna say it and I'm gonna say it here, on my brand new cleverly titled (thanks, Brian) blog.

For more about Uganda, stay tuned.


Mr. Fob said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. I'm looking forward to learning more about Uganda. Have a great trip, Amy.

wanderlustjill said...

that's our girl! fuck amy! i dont care if conservative folk read this, i am gonna say fuck until my dying days--the fact of the matter is that i am so damn proud of you for taking this desire and making it a reality. thank you from me and the rest of the world for taking what could easily be a dream and making it a reality. i love you. i am proud of you. and, i support you. i am not religous, but i will say god bless and may the god that created us watch over you and guide you along your way. peace and love forever, jill and carlos.

ArtCricket said...

Nice blog! I'm looking forward to a wonderful journey with you. Always follow your dreams- sounds corny but it is the path to meaningful life.
love you more than you can know
Mom, aka Jams, J for short from now on

sack2 said...

Hi Amy- Can I join the bandwagon and say - I am so proud of you and I will look forward to reading this blog- it would be nice to see some pictures-too??
Have a safe trip- Mary Ann

Dos Blessed said...

i can't wait to read your perspective from uganda and the lives you will touch simply by following your gut and your dream. thank you for not letting that annoying desire in your heart die with the contest! i admire your courage to continue down this path and bring a glimpse of the rest of the world home to rock the lives of our often self absorbed culture. peace sister!! vic, jeff & your girls!

Meme said...

Hi Amy,

I am so excited about your trip. I will live vicariously through you. I have a friend that just got back from 3 weeks there. I can't wait to see photos. Please email me and let me know how you are doing. LOVE - (Aunt) Mary Ann
(your Mom called me Meme when she was little)

seelyfam said...

Have a wonderful, exciting (well not too exciting if you know what we mean) trip to Uganda. We admire your determination so much and know the world will be a better place because of you - since you don't take no for an answer! Happy belated anniversary to you and Rachel! Journey Mercies to you, Amy. Peace, karen & dave