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