The day before!

Trip Start Feb 11, 2007
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Trip End ??? ??, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hello everyone!  Well, the fact that I am moving half way across the world has finally hit me.  It has been a long time coming! As I take a break from packing to write this, it is hard to explain quite exactly how I feel.  I guess you could call it a mixture of emotions.  While I will be far from friends, family, and a familiar culture, I will be meeting new people, going to new places, and working to increase my education. 
 
The past year has been pretty exciting.  I have had the chance to work with some really great Rotarians in preparation for my time abroad. When I first learned of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, it seemed as if it was the perfect opportunity to help me advance my goals and dreams, and I believe it will be. Rotarians all over the world are united in service.  They dedicate their time and their resources to help others.  That is a truly noble act, and a mindset I hope to mirror in my life.  They have taught me volumes, and I thank them for their time and dedication.  I have also busied myself working to earn some extra travel funds, and I spent a great deal of time working on a research paper examining how decentralization in the Indonesian petroleum sector is affecting the people in the province of Aceh.  It was a good year.
 
I also had the opportunity to spend the past few weeks visiting friends and family all across the Eastern USA.  Here are a few pictures from my travels...
 
I really have no idea what to expect for the next year, but I guess sometimes that is what makes life so exciting.  It has been my experience that life will present us all with opportunities and that it is up to us to either accept or decline them.  Some choices have been harder than others, because they require that you change the familiar.  They force you to look long and hard at yourself.  Making these choices can be hard for all of us sometimes, because we get comfortable with what we know.  I think it is safe to say we have all tried to resist change at some point in our lives, be it for whatever reason.  The point here is that sometimes embracing the unknown aspects of life can be the most exciting and rewarding.  Then again, you could end up in an Uzbeki prison...  In any event, I believe these are the times when we have the opportunity to learn the most about life, love, other cultures, and ourselves.   I am ready to go!
 
Keep checking back, I hope to upload pictures and write a little something here every week, at the very least.
 
MJ
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