Tuesday, 4 March 2014

An Introduction...

Hey! I'm Emily, or the Orange Canadian. I'm about to embark on some crazy adventures, and thought this would be a great way to document it all. It also means that friends and family have a tangible way of following me on my many journeys.

Perhaps I should start by telling a little bit more about myself. I'm currently finishing my undergraduate degree at Acadia University. I've been studying Environmental and Sustainability Studies, with Honours, for the past three years and I'm pretty pumped to be graduating in just a few short months. The focus of my studies has been Sustainable Community Development, but my real passion is water. The Honours portion of my degree has been a thesis connecting the similarities between the North American bottled water industry, and water privatization in Sub-Saharan Africa. This has been one of the most challenging projects I have ever taken on, and I couldn't be more proud of the result (now let's hope the Honours Committee feels the same!).

Growing up, I've always had an interest in Africa. Even when I was a small child, I had a fascination with this continent. Now, to be fair, that was mostly because I loved lions, but, as I got older, I began to learn about the issues plaguing this area of the world, and it only grew my interests. I credit a great deal of this to my grade 12 African Heritage Literature course, which opened my eyes to the beauty and unique culture that is Africa. Ever since, I have been looking to realize my dream of seeing every country within that great continent, and finally I'm about to take my first trip!

Let's get one thing straight, I'm an extremely pale, white, red-headed Canadian. Summer is my least favourite time of the year, which is mostly attributed to my amazing ability to get a sunburn in 15 seconds flat. Heat and I are not friends, so perhaps this adventure might be more than I am bargaining for. Regardless, I'm ready to dive in and experience as much of this adventure as I can.

In May, I will be heading to Ghana for 12 weeks to volunteer. I, in no way, expect to make any impact whatsoever. In fact, I will be lucky if I don't come back with an updated resume that only says, "had heat-stroke for 12 weeks." I fully anticipate to be the only one gaining anything from this trip. Twelve weeks isn't nearly enough time to do anything of value, and I also think its wrong for me to presume that my being there is in the best interests of the area I'll be living. The only thing I actually know about life in Africa is what I have read, and this by no means qualifies me as an expert in anything. So, I ask you to bare with me over the coming weeks of preparation, and months while I am away. This is a learning opportunity 10 years in the making. I will make no promises about the frequency of updates, but I do promise to be open and honest about my experiences. To allow for this, I will not be speaking specifically of the organization I will be travelling with.

I hope you will tag along with me throughout this and my many pending adventures! Until next post… the Orange Canadian

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