Experiencing the Unexpected...

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” 
~Aldous Leonard Huxley

You are about to embark on an incredible journey! It will take you where you planned, but you will also arrive at the unexpected. Experiencing a new culture can be exciting and eye-opening--new sights, smells, tastes and experiences tantalize our creativity.

Experiencing the challenges of healthcare in the developing world can lead to deeper exploration of values. What do you have to give? It may not be what you expected. This experience will challenge you. It may also change you. Travel and service are great opportunities for continuing our own professional and personal growth. Where will you grow?

With all of these new experiences comes an opportunity to share. The Peace Corps 3rd goal is to "Bring it Home." I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and I continue to support this goal in all of my work. I want to give you the opportunity to "Bring it Home" while also supporting the work of Project C.U.R.E. We would like to share your first hand experience of your travels with us.

You will have the opportunity to share photos and a blog post. We will provide you with the link to the blog pre-trip. Please share this link with your friends, family and colleagues and let them know when to expect blog postings (the dates of your travel). Each participant will have the opportunity to share. What you share is up to you. If you don’t have a lot to say, that’s fine. Keep it short and simple! Want to write a poem to accompany a picture? OK! My challenge to you is to find a way to express what moves you on this trip. I promise; there will be no shortage of inspiration.

You can use my computer to record your blog. I am also happy to transcribe written work. Take a picture or we can use one from group pictures to accompany your writing. I will send your blog to headquarters to be posted. We’ll update our Facebook page with the link and we encourage you to do the same once it’s up!

Here are some guidelines to get you started:

  • Write freely. Grammar and editing can come later. Sit down and just write for one minute without stopping.
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Open up to your readers. Be honest about your feelings and perceptions.
  • Show, don’t tell. Instead of “the woman was the bravest I have ever seen” try “I knew I was in the right place when my first female patient admitted to walking through the night to be first in line for our clinic.”
  • Pick something you learned today (maybe from an unlikely teacher?) and share it with the world
  • What is the Ghanaian desert like? Get in touch with your senses and paint a picture in colors, smells and sensations.
  • How are you viewing the world differently? How are your pre-trip expectations different from reality? Can you write about it in a positive tone?
  • While we may be experiencing difficult situations, think how your being there is making a difference even if it is just by showing you care or alleviating someone’s pain for a day/week/month. Relate it. While we can only do some much in a week, your writing may inspire others to action. Raising awareness of global issues is the first step in making the world a better place.
  • Share your passion.
  • Share your wonder.
  • Share your struggle.
  • Share your joy.
  • Be yourself.

Here is a piece that I have recently read and enjoyed. I just took an excerpt:

 “I felt an overwhelming sense of family and community through the flow of giving and receiving. Living in an atmosphere of graciousness and generosity put in perspective for me what it means to live as a happy person, despite the unfair circumstances life may hand out.” – Teen travel writer

HAPPY WRITING!

Jennifer Manhoff, Director of Clinics & Training Programs
Project C.U.R.E. International Headquarters
Direct 720.490.4027
jennifermanhoff@projectcure.org

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