Thursday, June 26, 2008


So much has happened in the last 5 days that I don't really know where to begin. I was hoping to get online a few days ago but as I've quickly figured out, nothing here happens in a timely manner.

I guess I'll just start from the begining. Last Thursday all of the Crossroad participants met up on Long Island for an orientation before heading our seperate directions. The orientation was surprisingly laid back and more of an opportunity to get to know our groups before we got on the plane. Since it's the 50th year of Crossroads we finished orientation with a dinner at the top of the UN building in the Deligates Dining Room. None of us packed formal clothing so we all looked ridiculous but it was still pretty solid. Sunday we finally left the US and flew to Casablanca. I was initially dreading our 12 hour layover in Casablanca but it turned out to be a gift. Air Moroc paid for each of us to get a hotel room for the entire layover. We dropped all of our bags off at the hotel and took a taxi into the city. I think I pissed myself atleast 3 times in during the ride, but we made it out alive. Trafic rules and lane lines are more of a suggestion than a standard. Either way we were able to go to the market there, see one of their famous mosques, and go swimming.

I have run out of computer time so the rest of the trip to date will have to wait. I guess I'll learn time management eventually.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Deal

In the middle of fall semester Ithaca College announced the possibility of traveling to Africa for the summer to participate in a service trip with Operation Crossroads Africa. Although I was initially interested, I didn't give too much thought to applying. Oh yeah, I'll do that next weekend. Right. Needless to say, a few months went by and it wasn't until the day prior to the application due date that I finally recognized my procrastination. I remember sitting in the library trying to figure out if I cared more about studying for that final tomorrow or attempting to complete the application. Eventually I realized that I didn't have anything to lose by filling out the application (aside from that final grade), and a lot to gain. As I wrote the essays I slowly started to comprehend how amazing of an experience this could be. Even after I completed the application, I couldn't stop thinking about how incredible it would be if I was able to go. I couldn't get the trip off my mind. When I found out I was one of students selected for the trip I was overjoyed, but the reality of me actually going to Africa is just starting to set in now.

Tomorrow (June 18th) I head to NYC for a few days of orientation with my group before flying to Senegal and taking a bus to our final destination of Jambanjelly Village in Gambia. My group, none of whom I know, will be spending the next two months working on completing a library for the village. Jambanjelly has no running water, no electricity, and no all-you-can-eat buffets. I've gotten all 400 shots, pretty much finished packing, and feel about as prepared as I'm ever going to feel.

Although I know relatively nothing about what will be in store for me over the next two months, I can comfortably say that this will probably be one of the defining experiences of my life.

Before I forget, I want to thank Dean Lynch, Bob Iger, Michelle Diemer, and Reginald Simmon's family for everything they have done. This trip wouldn't be a reality without all of your help.

This blog will be my primary source of communicating with everyone out in the 1st world. I will attempt to check in as often as possible, but I can't make any promises. I can still receive e-mail at but please understand I might not have the time to respond. Also, please attempt to forgive my spelling, grammatical, and sentence structure errors. Let's just say writing has never been my forte.