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 Jgoodwi1@ithaca.edu 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.


Laura said...

ummmmm i love you youre a beautiful man

Susie said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. My son has recently been accepted into the Crossroads program and will go to Gambia. I am a Crossroads alumni. Went to Sudan in 1978! It is hard to believe that Crossroads has been around for over 50 years. The hard work of founder
James Robinson has touched so many lives. Thanks for your blog and photos!!!