Welcome to my new travel blog!
After a day of snafus at the airport, it seems like I’m on track to leave the US for Malawi in just a few hours! I am bouncing-off-the-walls excited for my journey to Blantyre, Malawi.
It was quite a step to move from idea to actualization of my trip. I needed to get through how to pay for such a trip, pick where to go and for how long, what organization to partner with, figure out what immunizations were necessary, etc. My summer plans, for as big as they are, fell into my lap rather luckily! Right around the time I decided I wanted to travel this summer to explore these career ideas the Caltech Y was advertising for applicants to the Studenski Memorial Award. The Studenski is one of the most amazing and unique opportunities Caltech affords its students. Theaward honors Paul Studenski and serves to help undergraduates at Tech explore their options at a crossroads in their life. The award provides the funds to take a stepaway from theacademics and research at the Institute to pursue the big questions about future plans thatfloat at the back of everyone’s mind.Follow the link to get the rest of the scoop on the Award.I am so grateful to tell you that I was chosen to receive the Studenski Memorial Award this year! I am using it to fund this trip to Malawi. Let me tell you more about what I’ll be doing there and how the trip fulfills the mission of the Award.
As I said before, the trip fell into my lap. I had been researching various projects around the globe. Most were formedical volunteer work through international aid organizations. It was difficult to find a trip within a reasonable budget for the dates I wanted to travel, especiallyfor travel without a group. During one particular Google session my roommate’s fiance waltzes in, finds out what I’m up to, and immediately gave me a solution! It was AWESOME and another encouragement to keep your door open at Tech! It turns out his dad runs an amazing program in, you guessed it, Malawi! The organization is called Project Peanut Butter. I encourage you to follow this link to their website to watch their video or read some of their papers. It is such an amazing project! Project Peanut Butter treats children with malnutrition and they are absolutely the best at it! In future posts I’ll go into detail about the process of treatment and what I’m actually doing for the project on a day-to-day basis.
Volunteering with this program is something I am so stoked about, for a gaggle of reasons.Specifically, with regards to the Award, volunteering with the program will let me live amongst the Malawi people for almost two months, to see for myself the engineering and medical needs there, and havethe chance to explore the variety of experiences that I might be able to decide what I have a real, deep, true passion for whether that be medicine, engineering, being out of the country or in the US.
The next post will be from a different continent!