I have been staring at a blinking cursor for the past ten minutes. The truth is that I hardly know where to begin. Despite all my preparations, I feel a kinship with the blank page staring back at me. I have so many questions, so much anticipation, and, admittedly, quite a lot of apprehension. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to my partner organization, CECORE (Centre for Conflict Resolution), a regional organization affiliated with IANSA. They are involved in such a worthwhile campaign, one that has the potential to save the lives and welfare of women and girls throughout the region. I want so badly to be a valuable asset to this organization, but the weight of this mission is now sinking in to my consciousness. While I never question my passion for this cause, I cannot help but wonder if I will be able to meet the expectations that my host has for me.
Perhaps resembling a blank page is not such a bad thing. I am working hard not to develop specific expectations or to come into this process thinking that I know the answers. No amount of research on small arms proliferation or domestic violence can fully prepare me for this fellowship. I need stories, faces, and context. I am anxious to listen to the testimonies of stakeholders and to the advice of my host organization. My apprehension pales in comparison to how honored I am to be invited into CECORE’s work and into the lives of those affected by armed violence.
For right now, I will forego any attempt to make conclusions. Formulating the questions is an arduous task in and of itself, and my to-do list is hardly complete. I still have to finish moving out of my apartment, setting up a temporary home for my aptly named dog, Jezebel, and finalizing all of my paperwork. I’m yet to figure out how to pack without breaking the zipper on my suitcase. More than all this, though, I have to navigate the difficult process of assuring my mother that I will be all right, and saying my final good-byes to her and my younger sisters, Julie (age 15) and Catie (age 11).
I imagine my next post will be coming from Uganda. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit CECORE’s and IANSA’s websites:
IANSA rally in Uganda unites local population against gun violence
Posted By Courtney Chance
Posted May 3rd, 2009