My name is Ashanti Bryant. I am a junior studying Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. I have always wanted to travel all over the world but I never thought Africa would be my first big trip away from my parents. I am beyond excited and anxious to go on this trip and see how life changing it will be. I first heard about this trip last year through Jason Parker, the Diversity Program Coordinator on campus and I am a student ambassador or the program. He suggested I look into the program since I want to get involved in activism. I looked it up in the summer and it seemed exactly the trip I would want to go on, immersing yourself in a culture and just not being a tourist. I would be able to teach and learn from these people and encourage them that their thoughts and voices matter, and I thought that was an awesome message to share. Since I do want to be an activist for equality, gaining a widespread knowledge of other cultures will help me gain background knowledge on other places besides my own. Especially Rwanda, being a place that has grown so much since the genocide and come together, it'll be incredible to experience that in person and be able to come back and share that.
I'm not an actress nor a theatre major so I was a bit nervous about putting on plays while in Rwanda but it is such a comfortable and fun environment with the other villagers so Im excited to continue doing that for the next couple of weeks. I dont know if you can really prepare for a trip like this, I mean, I have my vaccinations, I'm packing my clothes and toiletries, but mentally I dont know if I can prepare myself for such a big journey. I'm just going to dive in with an open mind and heart and have an amazing time.
Less than a week before we leave for Rwanda!!