One Month to Go

Hello! This is the first post on a new blog, on a new site, so you'll have to excuse me for any incoherence as it gets started. I won't bore you with an introduction. If you're reading this you probably know me, and if you don't, there's a lovely "About" page to get you acquainted. Here's the abridged version: I made a new website so I could share photos, write a blog, and generally do whatever else I feel like doing on here. Welcome!

I have wanted to create a platform like this for a long time. Better late than never? I started working on it a few months ago, but my life was taken over by a little thing called school. Law school can be rather intense at times. The past few weeks are little more than a blur of research papers and exam prep. Astonishingly, I made it through, which is great news! A couple of days ago I wrote my final exam of first year. This means I finally have a bit of time to sort out the neglected disarray into which my life has devolved over the past few weeks. It also means I'm free to write this post and get the website out into the world.

But enough about that—lingering on exams so soon after finishing them is decidedly unpleasant.

It is far more exciting to talk about the countdown I refer to in the title of this post. In case anyone is unaware, I will be spending about three months in Africa over the summer, and I leave exactly one month from today! Specifically, I will be in Kampala, Uganda. It's part of an initiative at Osgoode (my law school) called the International Legal Partnership (ILP), which organizes internship placements for law students at organizations in the "Global South". The basic idea is that law students volunteer with organizations doing amazing work around the world and get invaluable experience and exposure in the process.

I was fortunate enough to be accepted to go to Uganda, where I will be interning at an organization called the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, or FHRI. I'm not sure exactly what kind of work I'll be doing yet, but generally speaking, FHRI is aimed at human rights and democratic development in Uganda. For example, I think the ILP students who were at FHRI last summer were working on a report about unconstitutional imprisonment. They did a lot of research sitting in the FHRI office, but there was also a considerable amount of 'field' research involved—visiting jails, interviewing officials and inmates, monitoring court proceedings, that sort of thing.

Again, I'm not sure what I'll be working on exactly, but it is bound to be interesting, challenging, exciting, and important. I'm really looking forward to it.

That said, I'm hovering at equal parts excitement and stress at the moment. I've never been anywhere even remotely close to Uganda (or anywhere in Africa), nor have I ever done this kind of work. And of course, I've been so busy with school and exams that I haven't had much time to start planning or getting things organized. I've got a pre-departure to-do list that reads like a novel. Blessedly, school is finished and I can finally start preparing for this trip!

I leave one month from today, on May 21, and I'll be gone for just under twelve weeks. The plan is to keep this blog updated regularly while I'm there, so feel free to follow along!

Aside from posting updates from Uganda, I wanted to have this website for many other reasons as well. The blog will continue before/during/after the trip. I also wanted a place to share photographs. At the moment I've got three galleries up, but there will be more to come.

I hope you enjoy the photographs, and I hope you enjoy the blog if you decide to keep up with it. Let me know what you think!