Wednesday, September 19, 2007

errrhhh, stop, rewind.

Yes, so maybe you would like to know the purpose of this blog. Well, friend, if I may you call you that by fact that you are reading this, I would like to keep you informed about my upcoming trip to Burkina Faso. Indeed the rumor is true. I am going to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in Sub-Sahara Africa for 9 months.

This blog is for friends, family members and anyone else interested in reading my ramblings and chronicles of what is sure to be an adventure. Some entries will be short others long. Most will be in order, but other times I will just write down what comes to mind. I daresay that these entries will contain profound revelations, but my goal is that allow you to understand a little bit of what I am experiencing.

Why go to Africa you might be asking. Well, let's just say after numerous job interviews I decided I was not ready for that type of structure in my life quite yet. I am a civil and environmental engineer, or at least that is what my degree from Princeton indicates. My passion is water resources. You may be surprised to know that even with the amazing technology of today, 1 billion people still don't have access to clean drinking water and 2 billion people go without basic sanitation systems. I was surprised when I first learned this and then the surprise turned to concern then to a real feeling that I need to do something about it. I don't know when it happened, but God has placed the issue of water on my heart. If you had asked me a year ago what I would be doing now, preparing to spend 9 months in Africa doing water quality research at the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering probably wouldn't have even made the list. But that is what is so amazing. In the course of four years, under the influence of the incredible academic environment of Princeton, my vision of the world changed dramatically. Or more precisely, my vision of my place in the world changed. Large international environmental and social problems require complex and nuanced solutions. No one person can do it alone. My calling now is to support, research, and eventually lead the work being done the issues related to water resources. That is why I am going to Africa.

11 Days and counting...

The prospect of leaving seemed so far away, and now it is knocking on my door. I started a packing list today. I figure if I start to think about what I need now I will be less likely to forget something important later. Of up most importance is my acquiring the proper anti-malarial medications. Thankfully, the process is already underway even as I type this. Also, I am compiling a collection of books to bring with me to read. I could be wrong, but I am guessing I will have some free time to read. After spending 4 years studying engineering I realize there are SO many books I want to read. The classics, influential books of the past and, you know, must reads. I found an excellent website that has an array book lists. I will let you which books I settle on to bring with me.

The book list site can be found here.