Sunday, July 10, 2011

This Blog

Hello World. Despite a previous aversion to travel blogs (we can thank Elizabeth Gilbert for making any young western woman traveling alone in the next few years self-conscious about seeming narcissistic,) here I am. I think I would deeply regret it if I did not keep track of my adventures (and the names I encounter) over the next year in writing. More importantly, I'm doing this in a public forum because I hope this will be a space to be in touch with family and friends. As I prepare for a year of traveling alone, I have a feeling that any bit of my experiences I can share with others (through photos and attempted descriptions) will become quite important to me. I hope that because of this, my other forms of communications (skype, e-mails, etc...) can not only focus on the new experiences I am having, but the new experiences you all are having as well. Because, much as I might like them to, the lives of my friends and families I am leaving behind will not stand still while I am gone, and I am eager to hear about your own adventures.

I hope to post here often over the next year (and knowing myself, it will be in verbose and sentimental ways). So you know what to expect, I think this blog will be a combination of my personal experiences over the next year and also my research. As a result, there will undoubtedly be entries that focus on people's names and the stories and meanings behind them. However, this won't be strictly a name blog because I imagine there will also be entries that focus on the food I'm eating in Rabat, a trip to Victoria Falls, and how much I am missing my dog. I think in many ways this speaks to the nature of the Watson Fellowship, which focuses both on the individual pursuing the project and the project they are pursuing.

And in case I forget to say it later, I am incredibly and eternally grateful for this fellowship that I'm about to embark on. I encourage all of you reading this to check out the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship website and read about the fascinating projects that will be going on throughout the next year. I feel so lucky to have gotten this fellowship and am still pinching myself. I can't think of a more rewarding, meaningful and terrifying way to spend my first year out of college.

More on my project and preparations to come....


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