Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Surreality of Heading to Africa

Howdy everyone!

My name is Russell White and from Keller, Texas which is a suburb of Fort Worth. I am a politics and international relations double-major, with a minor in philosophy at Drake University. I never imagined that I would be going to Africa, let alone be studying Africa as one of my core passions now. Coming to Drake University I had the distinct pleasure to take several history courses with Dr. Glenn McKnight, and thanks to his classes and our personal conversations with each other he has been the single largest influence for my new interest and passion in development and Africa. I'm going to be in Uganda in just a few days and I'm not sure what to expect; however, that's all part of the excitement for me. I'm going in with no expectations, so that way I can experience Uganda for how it truly is without any distractions or delusions of misconceptions and preconceived ideas. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time!

I'm tremendously excited to meet the MUBS students from Makerere University. The chance to get to know them personally and individually is most likely going to be the highlight of my trip. In my experience and opinion, befriending and getting to the know the people of a country is the most characteristic and exciting aspect about travelling to new places. While there in Uganda, I plan to conduct a research project on development methodology, and in it I will compare, analyze and critique various methods and even ideologies within the development discipline. There are a several MUBS students who appear to share similiar interests, and I'm looking forward to hearing their thoughts on the whole thing.

This still seems so surreal. It's one thing to discuss and talk about Africa in the classroom and entirely different thing to actually experience the environment, food, culture and people of Africa. No matter what happens on the trip or with my research project, this will undoubtedly be a defining experience for me.

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