A Quick Introduction
This blog is something I wish I had done before I left last year. For those of you who kept tabs on my time at the West African Children’s Foundation in Ghana last summer, I sent out a few emails, but they became rather cumbersome, far too lengthy, and difficult to keep up with. I’m hoping this time the nature of blog-writing, as much of a novice as I am to it all, will keep everyone posted well enough. And with some self-discipline, it will become a long term endeavor, one I hope will keep records for myself apart from the intermittent journaling I’ve always done. So despite the unnecessary thousands of these cluttering the internet… this is my adolescent, idealist blog. Enjoy!
With that said, first indulge my explanation of the title. Some time in early Fall last year, I was at my lovely apartment in Boston procrastinating whatever work homework it was I had to do that night, and reflecting on my time in Ghana. I think I was quite missing it that night, and likely comparing my time there to the tedious work I had passed off (stats lab homework, if I recall), because I posted on Facebook a short list sarcastically entitled – “Things I do instead of schoolwork.” It included things like fundraising ideas for my kids, casually searching Orbits flights, and starting the Peace Corps application. When I finished it, on a whim at the bottom I wrote – “For now, I have found what I want to do: travel & serve.” It was simple and inconsequential, but that idea has come to mean very much to me. Rather, its come to be the only two things that drive everything down the road for me – as far as I can see at this point.
Travel. Like so many of my friends and people around the world (particularly those obsessed with Pinterest), I love to travel. Whether it be visiting a new city in the States, searching flights halfway across the world for the hell of it, going to Africa, or asking my international or more well-traveled friends a few dozen questions about their life, it’s all driven by my own curiosity more than anything else. I have much time, but I plan to see as much as I can of the world before too long.
Serve. I have many ideas about what service means.. Anything from community projects to international service; Public service careers in the USG, International NGOs, or non-profits; Good deeds that come from the wisdom of knowing a great God (James 3:13) or always considering others above yourself (Philippians 2:3-4). I won’t go on a long diatribe about it, as I’m figuring it out along the way here. I do know that it’s in my heart, though. In whatever form it takes, and wherever I struggle with living it out, I always come back to it. I want to serve.
These together, I think sum up fairly well my short life thus far, as well as my foreseeable future. I’m curious about the world and its people, and I think everyone has something to offer the world, and I’ll do service to that in some way.
So at the end of the introduction, allow me to inform you that I’m writing this with less than an hour until I board my flight to Ghana to return again to the West African Children’s Foundation, to fifty wonderful children who deserve the world and all of its love. Last year, one of the handful of books I brought with me to read was Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And three of the things I most emphatically wrote in my journal last year were from the Economy chapter of that peculiar book:
“If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life… But I would not stand between any man and his genius; and to him who does this work, which I decline, with his whole heart and soul and life, I would say, Persevere, even if the world call it doing evil, as it is most likely they will…”