But… I’ve Never left the Continent!

Princess Reese

Women and Gender Studies/Anthropology Double Major

Cares about people and the place they’ve lived.

Loves sitting on grass.


To me, this is the trip of a lifetime. Up to this point my life has been full of meaning, surrounded by people and circumstances that challenge me to constantly grow. But (and big BUT, it is)  I have never been away from home in quite the same was. I spent a month traveling to American EcoVillages completely alone, made camping trips work with the just the bare essentials, wrote a business plan for a community center, and even filmed, edited, and produced  a documentary (all things I never thought I’d do before college)! But I have never left. Not this far away, and not for this long.


Going on this trip we have Ms. Melannie Cunningham,  a staff member who has visited multiple African countries nineteen times,

melannieinpink (Photo Credit: Julie L Anderson photos)

Mrs. Joanne Lisosky, a faculty member who has lived in Africa for a collective six months,


a Maurice Byrd (left) , student who served in the military and experienced several deployments, and Shunying (right), a student from China who has been in America for the entirety of her college career.


Then there’s Andrea (right)  and I, two women who have never left North America, let alone traveled 9,600 miles to Africa.


And even though we are nervous beyond our minds, the group we have is made of such resolve and grit that we know we are capable of dang near anything we want.

The stories of those nine are calling to me. They are telling me that even though we may be nervous, even though we have a lot to learn, there is much that we can do. I am waiting with bated breath to finally have those plane tickets in hand, prepared to leave the continent for the first time, knowing that we will all change in small ways. We will grow with the work we are doing, and come back with changed perspectives. Although not all of us know quite what to expect, we are ready.


Let’s get going,




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