Trip Start Jan 03, 2013
Trip End Jan 19, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

As of today, I have been officially accepted to and enrolled in the Uganda 2013 Class/Trip (AND paid in full, a lovely graduation present from Mom and Dad).  OH MY GOD. This is what I have dreamed of for a good chunk of my life.  I mean, I've traveled before (again thanks Mom and Dad) but...Africa. It's always seemed so exotic and, naturally I NEED to see it for myself. 

I suppose this would be a good place to really introduce myself.  I am a senior International Studies major and Spanish Minor at good ol' UWRF (or more fondly known as "moo-u") and will be GRADUATING (thank the sweet baby Jesus) this coming May.  The only thing standing in my way is my final semester and a half in college (approximately 7 months) and THIS. TRIP.  There is literally no possible way to make that sound bad.  "Oh, so in order to graduate I have to study abroad" -Sweet, I can do that. "So, in order to graduate I have to go to Uganda for three weeks of wild (literally) adventure and have the most incredible, eye-opening, awe-inspiring experience of my life THAT I'VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF"-Um, YES. There is no way this could be bad...

Well, I guess it could be bad...if I catch Malaria or Typhoid...or get caught up in some civil war or something...but we're staying positive here.

Anywho, as I said. I'm a graduating senior who loves to travel because I was incredibly spoiled by my parents and they gave me the "travel bug" (just as I intend to pass it on to my children some day).  My parents have supported me through every travel experience I've had and I have them to thank for my INSANELY expensive hobby (still, not complaining).  Therefore, I have been all over Mexico and the Caribbean; into Central America to Belize and Guatemala; and across the Atlantic to the UK where I visited several cities in England, Ireland, N. Ireland, and Scotland.Each of those experiences have helped me transform into a more well-rounded World Citizen. Now, I move forward with Africa! I hope that some day I can do this for a living. I want to immerse myself in different cultures and really get to understand other ways of life. Maybe I sound like a hippie, but I think some of the most incredible people were travelers. More on that some other time. Remind me to tell you about my Great Great Uncle, Richard Halliburton!

Now, back to the matter at hand. I WAS ACCEPTED TODAY. Since then, instead of doing my homework I have been side tracked! I made the mistake of Googling "What to pack for Africa" and it all rolled from there (to here, where I decided I wanted to maintain a blog about my trip...therefore I am still not doing homework...).  Needless to say, I'm already a little compulsive.  Here's why:

A. The people of Uganda are typically very poor. I would feel like the snobbiest bitch ever if I showed up with all new stuff that I only kind of (but really might) need.  
This is problematic because:
1. Although I study other cultures and am currently doing extensive research on Uganda, I have never experienced that kind of poverty (close at times in Latin America).  I come from a better off middle class white family, and despite the fact that my parents traveled a lot with me I am still very much blinded by the American mindset.
2. Upon reading about 8,000 different packing lists for Africa suggested by Google, I realized that I do not OWN a majority of the things they are recommending. 
 Which means I have to go buy them. Which means I will be going to Uganda with all new items. Which will make me feel like a snob. BUT I HAVE NO CHOICE.  

Perhaps the things I need to buy will become part of my regular travel gear? Does that make it seem less pretentious? 
On the other hand, let's be real here..perhaps I'm being pretentious worrying over something so small?  Because in Uganda, there are bigger problems to deal having food on the table and somewhere to live.

And so continues my great transformation!
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