Living, Loving. Learning.

Please join me on this inspired and fun-filled journey of creating the life of my dreams!

The Adventure Begins

Dear Family,

I could not be more thrilled and excited to let you know that I have accepted an official invitation to serve with the Peace Corps!!! My Placement Officer called last Wednesday to ask a few last interview questions and said she had the perfect assignment for me…

I have been asked to serve for 27 months in Malawi, which is more affectionately called “the warm heart of Africa” as it is known for its warm and friendly people (not to mention a tropical climate). Malawi is a small landlocked country in southeast Africa, about the size of Indiana. On its eastern border is Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa (larger than the state of New Hampshire), and judging by online photos, it’s absolutely incredible. Malawi is considered an African political success story. After a 30 year dictatorial rule, Malawi fairly and peacefully elected a government committed to a multi-party democracy. All elections since have remained peaceful. Peace Corps was first asked to come to Malawi in 1963, just before it gained independence from the United Kingdom, and has been continuously present within the country since 1978. There are currently 126 volunteers serving in Malawi.

Despite Malawi’s political success, however, they are experiencing extreme health and economic difficulties due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among its population. HIV/AIDS has heavily impacted the ability of the Malawian labor force to regenerate itself – directly affecting the quality and availability of education and food resources, among other things. In addition, the presence of this disease has disabled the government and the Malawian people from directing their energy and resources to other national developmental priorities.

I will be working as a “Community Health Advisor” which is a fancy title to describe a combination of partnership work in education, community development, policy and HIV/AIDS. Relationally, I will be working in conjunction with the Malawian government and local community based organizations. There will also be plenty of opportunity to get involved in secondary projects in my community as time goes by. I could not ask for an assignment more fitting for my passions!!

For those of you who have known about my application, you also know that the process has been extremely long, very complicated and quite nerve-wrecking for me. After 10 months of waiting, what a relief to hear this great news! I am very excited to finally put my passions into action and to embark on this incredible journey which lies ahead.

I am expecting to depart at the end of May, just a short 6 weeks away, and I am planning on spending the remainder of my time here in the U.S. finishing up my masters degree and seeing as many friends and as much family as possible. I am currently residing in Portland (which you all know I love) and will be returning to Southern California at the beginning of May to pack my duffel bag, clean out my parents’ garage, eat a chipotle veggie burger from John’s Garden, graduate and spend lots and lots time with my parents, brothers, sister-in-law, and, of course, the pups too. Yes, I asked, but they won’t let me bring Lulu along...

Amidst all my excitement, however, I cannot help but feel a tinge of sadness. My family, related or chosen, means the world to me and I will greatly miss each and every one of you while serving overseas. Words cannot express how important you are to me and how very thankful I am to have met, known and learned from you! With that said, it is highly unlikely that my future home will be wired with electricity or the internet. I will mostly be dependent on snail mail and potential infrequent visits to internet cafĂ©’s whenever I’m in a bigger city. This blog will be updated by myself or from letters I send to my family. Please, please, please do me a big favor and send me both your physical address and your preferred email address for the spreadsheet I’m assembling to take with me. I would LOVE to send you letters and/or email updates whenever I get the chance! I do love writing/receiving a good letter… ;)

Thank you all for your continuous and unwavering support and friendship despite the fact that I am always coming up with new adventures and extended travel plans… I’m a one very lucky woman! I promise to keep you updated over the next bit as I hear more.

Best wishes, many blessings and much peace to you.
In love, Brittany

“…if you come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” – Aboriginal activists group, Queensland.

1 comments:

krakefamily@hotmail.com said...

As a mother, the hardest thing to do is to release your child to the world at large.

As a mother, the most beautiful gift is to release the miracle of your child to the world at large....

Your passion for giving,
Your gentle nature,
Your peaceful heart,
Your quest for truth,
Your faith in angels,
Your musical laughter,
Your capacity for love,
Your spirit of human connection...
These are your miracles...

This is my woman child Brittany, and my gift to the world at large.

I will be filled with the light of love that you will be sharing with others, knowing that the golden connection between our hearts and souls is unbreakable and will sustain us both. While you are away, you remain right here at home.

All my love,
MUSHY,
Mom
XOXOXOXOXO

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