After a change of plans, I am now headed to Rwanda and Uganda from January to the end of April for a semester abroad experience. I was selected by George Fox University to participate in their program and then I got to choose from list of their accredited programs. At first I chose the GoED Mekong program that took place in Thailand, but after that one was canceled I switched over to the GoED Rwanda and Uganda program. I really like how GoED runs their semester abroad experience, so I was very excited to be able to stay with the program even though I wasn’t going to Thailand.
The focus of the Africa program is the study of the root causes of conflict and the efforts for peacebuilding and reconciliation in the region. Our studies in Rwanda will help us gain perspective about the complexities of the issues, regional and international responses, and efforts towards building lasting peace. We will also have opportunities to interact with local residents, including victims, to enhance understanding of the impact of conflict and the challenges of reconciliation. We will be taking courses about these issues along with African traditional culture and religion, post colonial African literature, and social context for development.
I will be living and learning with a group of about 16 other students from the United States. While we take our classes we will be living in the capital city of Kigali, Rwanda, and living in two adjacent student guest houses. From here we will be able to explore the city of Kigali and the surrounding area.
One of the things I am most excited about is the 4-week practicum experience that is unique to the GoED program. We don't get to just learn about the reconciliation and peace building efforts in Africa, but we have the opportunity to go out and serve in some capacity. We will have the opportunity to live among the people of either Rwanda or Uganda, in some cases in villages, and work to gain a deeper understanding of what we have learned in class. I am really looking forward to this experience and the greater knowledge and understanding I will gain about the people as I work side-by-side with them. I don't know exactly how my practicum experience will look, but I am hoping to work with children and maybe some form of teaching.
If you would like to know more about GoED and what I'll be doing feel free to check out their website: GoED Africa
I would love your prayers as I prepare to head on this journey! Thanks for reading and taking an interest in my story!