Can you recognize that moment when you’re about to take on a new opportunity and for whatever reason a part of you realizes that this new direction life is taking you in will greatly impact you in some way you are just not sure how yet?
That is precisely the disposition that is flooding my mind when I think about the trip to Rwanda with the Anne Frank Project. Our countless meetings devoted to creating an agenda for our trip have come to an end. The immunization shots for yellow and typhoid fever are now running through our veins. It seems as though all that’s left to do is hop on a plain and greet this new opportunity with open arms.
Ironically it is at this time when nerves start to become more real when considering the fact that I will be traveling with people to a land that is unfamiliar. I feel anxious about whether or not I can help make a difference in other people’s lives and bring something to the table.
Although these thoughts come to mind the thing that brings me comfort is knowing that I along with the other students and faculty on this trip have devoted countless hours to developing our mission of what we set out to do. Simply remembering to choose "we" before "me" and deciding to be selfless open to the possibilities of what we can teach the Rwandan natives but also what we can learn from them is incredibly important.
About the Author
Hi my name is Monique Newman and I am a junior pursuing a degree in Sociology at Pepperdine University. In my free time I enjoy spending most of it outdoors engaging in various hiking activities with friends, playing basketball or spending all day at the beach. The first time I heard of the Anne Frank Project was through a leadership conference that I attended while studying abroad in Switzerland during my second year of college. My desire to see the world, diving into new experiences and serving diverse communities is what made me want to embark on this new journey to Rwanda with SUNY Buffalo State College. One of the most important aspects about this trip is going in with an open mind and being willing to empathize. I believe this is essential in order to hear and be present while learning about people’s individual stories and life lessons as well as understanding the beauty of cultures that are different from my own.