As I sit in my favorite neighborhood café in the top corner of Northwest D.C., and smile at the folks who come and go–so regular to me that it takes a moment for me to realize that I won’t be seeing them for quite some time–I turn my pending trip over and over in my mind. I am caught up in a whirlwind of memories, plans and excitement. In December of 2007, in a simple effort to volunteer more, I applied for a peace fellowship with the, then unknown to me, Advocacy Project. After initially applying for a fellowship to work with the Roma in Prague, CZ (a place I once called home), I found Amy Burrows campaigning for me to, instead, utilize my documentary filmmaking skills and go to Uganda to work with the indigenous pygmies of Central Africa to help them end slavery. Five months later, I am preparing to move to Kampala, Uganda and work with two fine gentlemen who seek to bring equal rights to the indigenous populations of eastern and central Africa. In this time, my friends and family have helped make this dream to volunteer a reality. After fundraising for just a little over 2 months, I have raised upwards of $5000, exclusively from people I know, love and respect. I will be able to rest assured that I can help Freddy and his brothers and sisters for the next 3 months, as I work shoulder-to-shoulder with them in Uganda. In this last week of preparation, I scramble for sandals, prescriptions, camera equipment, ICT review and general items that I normally take for granted (sunscreen, bug repellant, immodium, etc.). A one-hour tete-a-tete with Freddy via Gchat (Google rules!), just days before I arrive in Kampala, informed me that yes, I have a house waiting for me, but no, it is not furnished (oy!). As I keep learning new things and solving problems, daily, I know that there is so much mystery and excitement waiting for me. I look forward to making short films, taking thousands of photographs, and helping to spread the word against indigenous and peasant slavery. I can’t wait to share my experiences with you all!
Posted By Juliet Hutchings
Posted May 28th, 2008