It has been a quiet few months of processing, hard work and a lot of life changes. Let me catch you up.
First surprise… I got married! Yes, to a real person. Actually, he’s more like a superhero. We were married January 24th in Wellington, New Zealand.
Second surprise… We live in New Zealand, for now anyways. Jake is a brilliant engineer who specializes in earthquake engineering stuff and stuff (real technical terms being used here, go figure). I am working on my MA in Intercultural Studies and undergoing endless waves of culture shock. Living in Uganda was a piece of cake relative to life’s recent changes. Somehow adjusting to New Zealand (and being married, ahem) has been much more difficult than I’d imagined. And though I don’t recognize my own life these days it is hard to complain (actually, I still complain but even I know it is unreasonable). Truth be told I’m in love, happily married, almost finished with a Master degree and living in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Third surprise… I am beginning to plan for Phase II of Children’s Running Project Uganda. Right now I am evaluating the first project and asking key questions such as, What do the children say they need? What did we learn last summer from this project and all its parts? What can we do better in the future?
In line with that, I am working toward answering another big question, “How do we fund this project the second time around?”
Maybe this “third surprise” is not such a surprise because of how wildly successful our first project was. When I left Uganda in September 2013 the children said they wanted to continue running and training, want the program to stay long-term and felt running was helping them. I want to provide this for them, and for my part this very moment I believe honest and humble reevaluation of the project and its goals are imperative.
For now please keep us all in mind while myself (and colleagues near and far) sort out the best way to plan and promote this second chapter in our exciting distance-running-peace-making-child-empowering story.
Oh and also, though it may be April Fools Day in the USA, it is April 2nd here in New Zealand. So, this post is no joke 🙂