At a college fair on Friday, I got the look from a college rep when I mentioned that I was not going to college next year and would be applying in November. He quickly did a 180 upon hearing what I would be doing and showed me some pretty nice scholarships that I could qualify for because of the focus of my gap year, but how easily he jumped to a conclusion about my plans bugged me. Besides, I know some pretty incredible individuals who decided to pass on college in order to chase their dreams. Anyway, I thought I would make a timeline of sorts for my gap year.
I leave Springfield on June 3rd (two months away!) and arrive in Arusha, Tanzania on June 5th. I begin my intensive Swahili course on June 6th, and will finish on June 24th. After a week off, I will begin my course in Empowerment on July 4th and finish on July 15th
On July 17th I begin my climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and will spend the next 7 days hiking the Machame Route to the summit of the 19,341 footmountain. I will then travel to the island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania with the same group for 4 days working on a service project. (A view of Kilimanjaro from the distance) (14,000 feet above sea level)
Following this, I will begin my work with Daudi and Kellen Msseemmaa and their Empowered Girls' Club. We will be traveling to a few rural villages in Tanzania where I will likely be teaching English and giving talks on empowerment. Check out all they have done so far on their blog! http://lenana.net/blog/
I will be returning home on November 2nd and will be home until early January.
On January 8th I will begin my Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician training in Midpines, CA, concluding on February 3rd.
The month of February is still a bit of an unknown…so I’ll post more on that when I decide what to do!
During March, April and the early part of May (until my sister's college graduation) I am planning on living in Honduras and obtaining my dive master, instructor and possibly my Master Scuba Diver Trainer certifications through http://www.goproutila.com/ Honduras is one of the few places where it is possible to dive with Whale Sharks, just another benefit!
And then I will go home for a few weeks in May, possibly work at a dive camp over the summer and then head off to college in the fall of 2012!