Wednesday, August 8, 2012

“May the spirits of forever ice cream guide your journey.”


4:53 PM EST

            I can hardly believe that the day has finally come for me to leave for this trip. In a way, it seems like ages ago that we got the good news that our project proposal was accepted (even though it was only a month ago). In a different way, I feel like we barely started planning. Regardless, the bags I’m hauling around the airport are proof that this experience has begun.  Those, and the great parting words I’ve received, like “lots of love,” “may the spirits of forever ice cream guide your journey,” and “hydrate well.” Can you guess which came from my parent?

For anybody reading this blog by chance or with only a vague sense of why I’m going on a trip, I’ll explain. Last semester, Aidai Kozhalieva, an MC International Student (alum) from Kyrgyzstan, asked me to apply for a service program with her. The program is set up between The State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) through IREX. Essentially, we had the liberty to design whatever service project we would like to implement in Kyrgyzstan, then we would submit our proposal and hope to be one of the lucky partners selected to receive funding for their service. We proposed an English-learning based theater day camp with a post-project letter exchanging program with Rockford Elementary School in Rockford, TN. Our project was accepted, and is now titled “ACT: Ananievo Children’s Theater.” You can find official ACT updates and “Like” us at Wild, right?!

                I’m sitting in the airport in Newark, New Jersey, and the best part is the pigeons.  In the past hour and a half, I have seen TWO pigeons flying indoors. The first flew over the food court, and I think I was the only person who noticed it. I was overjoyed. The second flew over the waiting area of Gate C128. A couple kids saw it and seemed almost as excited as I felt, but still the pigeons are unappreciated. I want to make a joke about how “one flew over the cuckoo’s nest,” but that would be lying and probably wouldn’t be as funny to anybody reading this and it is to me. Again, the pigeons are unappreciated. (Ha!) Even though I haven’t left the US yet, there are so many different languages floating around me! It’s incredible. I still have a little over 2 hours before my long flight to Istanbul (where I have even more waiting & flight time), so I think I’ll spend some time exploring the airport.