The day before!

Trip Start Feb 11, 2007
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Trip End ??? ??, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hello everyone!  Well, the fact that I am moving half way across the world has finally hit me.  It has been a long time coming! As I take a break from packing to write this, it is hard to explain quite exactly how I feel.  I guess you could call it a mixture of emotions.  While I will be far from friends, family, and a familiar culture, I will be meeting new people, going to new places, and working to increase my education. 
 
The past year has been pretty exciting.  I have had the chance to work with some really great Rotarians in preparation for my time abroad. When I first learned of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, it seemed as if it was the perfect opportunity to help me advance my goals and dreams, and I believe it will be. Rotarians all over the world are united in service.  They dedicate their time and their resources to help others.  That is a truly noble act, and a mindset I hope to mirror in my life.  They have taught me volumes, and I thank them for their time and dedication.  I have also busied myself working to earn some extra travel funds, and I spent a great deal of time working on a research paper examining how decentralization in the Indonesian petroleum sector is affecting the people in the province of Aceh.  It was a good year.
 
I also had the opportunity to spend the past few weeks visiting friends and family all across the Eastern USA.  Here are a few pictures from my travels...
 
I really have no idea what to expect for the next year, but I guess sometimes that is what makes life so exciting.  It has been my experience that life will present us all with opportunities and that it is up to us to either accept or decline them.  Some choices have been harder than others, because they require that you change the familiar.  They force you to look long and hard at yourself.  Making these choices can be hard for all of us sometimes, because we get comfortable with what we know.  I think it is safe to say we have all tried to resist change at some point in our lives, be it for whatever reason.  The point here is that sometimes embracing the unknown aspects of life can be the most exciting and rewarding.  Then again, you could end up in an Uzbeki prison...  In any event, I believe these are the times when we have the opportunity to learn the most about life, love, other cultures, and ourselves.   I am ready to go!
 
Keep checking back, I hope to upload pictures and write a little something here every week, at the very least.
 
MJ
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Comments

c.jaruszewicz
c.jaruszewicz on

bon voyage mike
Bittersweet - you are off and away, and everyone here who loves you will miss you very much, but this is obviously the path that will enable you to continue making your dreams real and I am so happy and proud that your sense of adventure and commitment to make a difference in the crazy world we live in is driving your decisions. Your world view and principles have already been influenced by your travels around the Americas and Europe, but this opportunity to live and study half a world away for an extended period of time will change you in ways you can't imagine right now. I'm so happy you are going at a time when we all have access to technologies that can keep us in touch in ways that will make missing you more bearable and help us share your adventures! Remember, mama says to stay clear of sharks, scorpions, poisonous snakes, rip tides, and bad people!!!!! Also, do NOT under any circumstances, get into a conversation with anyone about china dolls (this won't make any sense to you, I'll explain when you get back)

Have a great trip; I miss you already. Study hard, have fun, surf the big waves, and I'm immensely proud of you and what you are working towards and the person you are. Love, mom

scbmoonbeam
scbmoonbeam on

Wishing you Safe Journey
Dear Michael...it's Auntie Susan!...I am so excited for you that you can have this incredible experience...wish I was tagging along with you...and I really appreciate your wilingness to keep us all posted of your adventures via this website so we can stay connected and share your journey vicariously...I didn't receive your initial email (got it from Erin), so I will email my address to you....and remember to look out for the bones and feathers!!!! have a blast, Michael....love, Aunt Susan

thayerleslie
thayerleslie on

Next best thing to being there
Hi Mike, Aunt Debbie here. Am so enjoying your photos, keep them coming. Still hard to believe that you are so far away. You are missing nothing here but alot of very cold weather and snow. We are all fine and wish you well. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Love Aunt Deb

thayerleslie
thayerleslie on

So you have new digs
Aunt Debbie here...just read your latest journal entry. Sounds like you are already getting a feel for your new surroundings. Some of the pictures looked like San Francisco...So have you scoped out the surf shops yet? Must send pictures of the ocean when you get there. I guess our 4 to 6 foot swells here in FLorida won't compare to what you have going on down under!!!Anyway, just keep the words and pictures coming. It closes the gap between our worlds. Much love, Aunt Deb

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