Many apologies for the long delay in posting! I need to be better about keeping up with this one-entry-per-month thing. I guess that is a testament to how involved and busy I have been thus far my second year. Besides my classes, have been keeping on with my internship one day per week, plus working in the Student Affairs office and doing a bunch of babysitting on the side. DU has a really great off-campus employment board for students that I have been perusing quite a bit to find jobs to make some extra money (babysitting, tutoring, other odd jobs). Fortunately, I have also managed to work in some time for fun Colorado excursions such as the one depicted in this photo: a trip to Royal Gorge, home to the world’s highest suspension bridge in the United States, which spans the Arkansas River thousands of feet below.
It was a pretty beautiful sight. I went with my boyfriend and a couple of friends. The one thing we forgot, though, was that an enormous wildfire had passed through the park early this summer, effectively shutting down park operations for the foreseeable future. The carnage that the fire left in its wake was astonishing.
I had never seen anything like it before–acres upon acres of charred land and black, skeleton-like trees. Yet another reminder that I really and truly no longer live on the East Coast!
Other highlights of grad school life lately: Trivia Tuesdays at my neighborhood bar, delicious crock pot chili, finishing a long and grueling group project for good, learning more and writing papers about Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh and Myanmar that I have not previously been much exposed to…oh yeah, and anticipating the upcoming trip to Cape Town that I will be embarking on in approximately three weeks! It’s a trip through DU’s International Service Learning program, which focuses on transitional justice in South Africa. It’s a month-long trip consisting of a few weeks of voluntary internship placements in-country, followed by a safari north of Durban, in the KwaZulu-Natal area. We’ve also been taking class for five weeks leading up to the trip, learning about the history of Apartheid and the kind of social and economic stratification that it bred. I just learned what my field placement will be a couple of days ago: I will be volunteering at a community-based organization in one of the townships, about 45 minutes outside of Cape Town, working with a child protection, HIV/AIDS education, and sexual abuse prevention program. There’s always a little bit of apprehension before a period of travel, but as sure as we are International Studies students, the excitement far outweighs the nervousness This will be my first time going to Africa, and I cannot wait. I’ll be sure to update along the way.
On another note–and to close this entry for now–I’ve started volunteering as an Admissions Ambassador for the Korbel Office of Admissions, which basically means that I get to participate in communication and outreach to prospective students. My personal page can be found here. Feel free to email me or any of my fellow ambassadors if you have questions about what life/academics/anything is like at Korbel!