Krystal Sirman

Krystal Sirman (Survivor Corps in Jordan): Krystal is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she graduated from Louisiana State University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. During her undergraduate student, Krystal served as director of Africa Initiative, a student organization, and led 12 university students to Ghana for three months during the summer of 2004 to volunteer. The same year, she participated in the Africa Initiative’s Ghana program for three weeks as a volunteer. Krystal received her Master’s degree in international development from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in May 2008. As part of her studies, she travelled to Bangladesh for three weeks to conduct research for her Master’s Capstone Project. After her fellowship, Krystal wrote: "The best part of my fellowship was visiting the few survivors I had the opportunity to visit, as well as spending time with the youth during the summer camp. Every person I met was so positive and confident, and definitely taught me to appreciate what I have and who I am."

Testing 1-2-3

26 May

I was hired in August as The Advocacy Project’s (AP) Fellowship Intern. From the time of my interview for that position, in which Amy, the Fellowship Coordinator, described the Fellowship program in detail, I knew I wanted to be an AP Peace Fellow the following summer. Well, that summer has arrived, and tomorrow I leave for Amman, Jordan, where I’ll be working with Landmine Survivors Network (LSN).

As I sit here trying to put all my thoughts and feelings about this summer into words, the only thing that makes it to the surface is just how excited I am! For those of you who have seen me in the past week, you may not have been convinced of my genuine excitement. But there are two very good reasons for that! First, I don’t think it has truly hit me that within two days’ time I will be in one of the most beautiful, welcoming, and exotic countries in the world. And, for that matter, that I’ll get to spend 3 months there! While this is not my first taste of a majority Muslim country (I spent 3 weeks in Bangladesh conducting research for my Master’s Capstone Project), I imagine that my expectations, which are based on my short stint in Bangladesh, will be awry in the context of Jordan. In any case, I’m fully prepared for the inquisitive (and at times lascivious) stares, the language barrier (unfortunately I don’t speak Arabic, but I’m going to try to learn!), and the conservative (one could say oppressive) attitude towards women.

Second, and this is probably related to the first reason, I am utterly exhausted. Probably not the best thing in the world considering how much work (and fun) I have ahead of me. But it’s not my fault, I promise! Ever since I completed my studies on May 7th, I feel as though I’ve been on auto pilot. I had to prepare for graduation, my family came in town (and stayed until two days ago), my car was totaled as it sat parked on the street and I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of that, and I’ve attended 3 full days of training for my Fellowship. Oh, and I just finished packing for my trip. So, needless to say, I am already exhausted and my journey hasn’t even begun. I honestly think I’m running on sheer excitement, anxiety, and an odd paradox of eagerness and apathy.

Before I sign off, I just wanted to let all of you who are reading this know that this is the first blog I’ve written and, while it was quite intimidating writing something that I knew would be broadcast to the entire world, I have enjoyed the exercise. I also wanted to say a quick “THANK YOU!” to all the people who are supporting me in this endeavor, whether it has been through donations, prayers, or simply reading this blog (and the many more that are to follow). I really appreciate all the encouragement!

Posted By Krystal Sirman

Posted May 26th, 2008


  • Jessie Doll

    May 27, 2008


    Hey Krystal!! I hope you have a fabulous trip and I look forward to reading your blog.

  • Martijn van Heesewijk

    May 27, 2008


    Hey Krystal good luck in Amman! You’re writing is really good btw, looking forward to more posts.

  • Sivan

    May 28, 2008


    So excited for you! In vienna right now, eating chocolate cake, but ill be in israel in 2 days… ill wave to you from the border!!

  • Mom

    May 29, 2008


    We are all rooting for you and your blog was truly genuine and insightful! Get rest and take comfort in the thought that your PAPA is there with you and so are we in spirit and love!

  • Mike S

    May 29, 2008


    So proud of you. Everyone that we talk to about your adventure is amazed. We love you… stay in touch as often as possible…. and PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!!

  • cherry

    May 29, 2008


    Good luck Krystal…If you need any help with your arabic, contact Khalid and Shana at…also, his best friend in Baton Rouge, Shaddi, is from Jordan and could help you if needed…Love you and be careful! Aunt Cherry

  • Thuan

    June 1, 2008


    Cool blog! I will definitely keep up with it over the summer. Hope you’re enjoying Jordan. Jacob and I will get in touch with you once we get to Egypt.

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