Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hey, all. If you're interested--here is what I'll be doing this spring...

Well, hello there!

A few posts back, I mentioned that I would soon be gone for a while (a difference from when I'm just gone for a while and don't say anything, because classes are super-busy and I'm working 50 hours a week, but still there's the possibility that I'll have both the time and energy to write a post, right?! RIGHT?!).

Anyway. This away-time does not come with the likely possibility of writing any movie posts here, so I thought I'd share why.

In December, I finished my last class and took my last final for my BA in intercultural studies (emphasis: cross-cultural studies), and it was a glorious time. I am not graduated yet, however. As part of my degree, I have to complete a cross-cultural internship out-of-country. This is what I will be doing from next Wednesday until May.

Next Wednesday, I will be flying out to Lungi, Sierra Leone in West Africa. If you've been following this blog for a long time, then you know that I have a bit of history with Sierra Leone. However, this will be my first time back in Sierra Leone in almost four years! I am very excited.

While there, I will be interning with a great organization called Women of Hope International. They are a woman-founded, woman-led non-profit that works with disabled women in the Makeni region of Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, the social and economic status of women is much lower than men--for disabled women, it is even more difficult. WOH has a program for women to learn skills, self-sustainability, and self-worth: all led and taught by local Sierra Leoneon women. After leaving the program, the woman are able to go back into their communities and replicate what they have learned to others. It's a wonderful, empathetic organization that I really believe in--so being able to intern with them is a super-exciting opportunity for me.

As an intern, I will be doing a variety of support-related tasks and services. I am most excited about the fact that one of those tasks will be "interviewing" each woman and documenting her individual story. Allowing the disenfranchised to speak for themselves is hugely important to me (really the spine of my entire future life dreams/plans), so this is gonna be brilliant.

{The following is taken verbatim from my GoFundMe page}
It was in Sierra Leone that I first felt a perfect outlet for my desire for justice: particularly for the disenfranchised and powerless.

It was also through my time in Sierra Leone that I learned how to respond to the disenfranchised and powerless. When I was 14, I thought this meant that I would SAVE THEM ALL WITH MY HUMANITARIAN GREATNESS.

Fortunately, I soon learned that this was nonsense, and *I* would not be *saving* anyone.

I do, however, have particular passions and skills and opportunities that make me able to be a learner, facilitator, and member of the community (wherever that community may be).

My long-term dream is to work with disenfranchised people--particularly children--who are survivors of trauma (war and violence).

My hope is not to be a voice for the voiceless; but to let the voiceless speak for themselves. 
Every person has a story; if we cannot hear it, then we simply are not listening.

Although, I will not be here at all for the next couple of months, I will be still posting semi-regular updates (with semi-reliable internet) over at my just-launched personal website. (Be patient with the site; as it is most definitely still under construction.) If you are at all interested, please check it out!  I love all of you so very much, and you really mean to so much to my every-day life. I have made strong, years-long friendships with so many of you, and you truly have had the distinct experience of watching me "grow up," so yeah. I am truly not the same person I was when I started this blog in December 2008. Congrats on that (ugh. Teenage Millie was a NIGHTMARE).

So, yeah.

1. Check out the site, if you're interested.

2. If you want more details/info about my trip, I'd love to chat--or you can check out my GoFundMe page.

3. Which brings me to that. If you want to support my internship at all, you can absolutely donate through GoFundMe or share a link to the page (sharing is absolutely supporting!). I need around $300 more before this Thursday, but I have already been so overwhelmed by everyone who has supported me. I told me sister that I feel like George Bailey at the end of It's A Wonderful Life. haha. So, yeah. No pressure or worries (as, you might notice, I REALLY hate asking for money; just feel like the worst).

I will see you all soon (I may be able to get a another post or two out as I avoid packing [I have to move out of my current place by Friday, on top of packing for the trip. So, yeah.])!

Have wonderful lives and watch so many movies and also let me know who wins the Oscars! haha


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