Monday, February 28, 2011

Entering Adulthood

Let me begin by once again reiterating how thrilled I am to be leaving for Uganda in June. It's in the forefront of my brain 75% of the time and my friends are already surely sick of me talking about Africa all. the. time.

However, while living abroad is going to be an incredible life experience and this summer will surely shape me in a lot of ways, being in Uganda means I will be making some serious sacrifices. Among them are missing out on a Cape Cod trip with some of my best friends from school, visiting my brother at Governor's School (hopefully!), and, most of all, I will be absent for my absolute favorite summer tradition: the annual Harry Potter party my best friend, Ian, and I have hosted/attended for the past two years.

For the past two years we've decked ourselves out in HP costumes and proceeded to attend whatever Potter Even the summer held for us. Two years ago is was the film release of Half-Blood Prince; he went as Lupin, I as Tonks, his dog as Teddy, our son. Last year a bunch of my favorite wrock bands (Whomping Willows, JFF, Lauren Fairweather, ALL CAPS, The Parselmouths) came to my hometown and we went- he as Tom Riddle, I as Luna Lovegood. We even snared my brother Tom into going as a vampire-bitten Cedric Diggory and our friend Morgan as Draco Malfoy. Needless to say, when Kristina Horner signed my T-shirt and Whompy sang "I Swear I Believe in Nargles" I was blossoming with happiness. To miss the last film this summer is going to be- laugh all you like- a little hard.

I know you're probably shaking your head, thinking of how selfish I am for wanting these little things while I'm off having my Great Ugandan Adventure. You're absolutely justified in this disapproval, and I confess as I'm writing I realize I sound like the whiniest spoiled kid on the block. 

BUT LET ME EXPLAIN. For those of you who know me, you are aware to what depths I have sunk in my abiding love for the seven book series Jo Rowling so masterfully crafted. For those of you who are less aware, let me educate I give you: 

The Top Ten Reasons Lizzie Has Transcended Madness in Her Adoration for HP:
1. For high school graduation, rather than asking for jewelry or something remotely normal, I asked Mom and Dad to get me a new set of the HP books- because my hardcover copies all had pages curled over and broken spines from the 20+ times I'd read them. So they got me British First Editions (yes, I specified what editions I wanted...) and I was the happiest of grads. 
2. I own at least seven Harry Potter themed t-shirts; among my favorites are my Harry and the Potters t-shirt and one that reads "REAL MEN DON'T SPARKLE. REAL MEN DEFEAT DARK WIZARDS."
3. I own two pair of Spectrespecs.
4. I brought my graduation robes to college for the express purpose of dressing up as an HP character when HP 7 Part 1 came out. 
5. I listen to Wizard Rock (translation for non-nerdfighters: there are over 200 songs in my iTunes library written by bands that write and perform in costume songs about Harry Potter and his gang of friends, magical creatures, and enchanted objects).
6. I knew Darren Criss from A Very Potter Musical BEFORE he was on Glee. And I was in the first 5000 views of AVPM on YouTube.
7. This spring I intend to get the Deathly Hallows symbol tattooed on my foot.
8. I have seen every HP movie on the day it came out since sixth grade.
9. I won the costume contest in the little bookshop in my neighborhood when Deathly Hallows (the book) came out...and I still have the certificate. 
10. The ultimate pathetic reason: On my eleventh birthday I spent two hours by the mailbox, waiting for my letter to Hogwarts to arrive. It made sense, because I lived in the US, for it to come by muggle post (how could the owls fly across the Atlantic?). When it didn't arrive I cried myself to sleep.

So missing the release of the final film is kind of a huge deal for me. BUT! Thera and all her wizarding magic has procured a back-up plan. I won't divulge here yet, because I think it will make a great saga once in Uganda. For now, I will tell you this: all this being said pertaining to my insane obsession with the Boy Who Lived, I will find a way to see the last film, even being halfway around the world...

And I'm packing my Gryffindor tie. 
A mélange of my HP Fan Photos...
Current Jam: "Adultery" Little Comets
Best thing in my life right now: Being inside while this wretched rain pours OUTSIDE.
Days until (tentative) departure: 92 (I mis-counted last time)

Friday, February 25, 2011


Oh, hey there, world....

As in recent months I have found myself getting more and more sucked into the vortex that is the internet I suppose it's unsurprising that I have started this blog. It began with facebook, in a way; and then I simply couldn't resist vlogging with the fun Kristina Horner and the crew seemed to be having on YouTube...and it spiraled from there. Twitter, Tumblr, and now...this.

However, this blog has a new express purpose, perhaps more direct than any other online endeavor I have yet undertaken. Yes, my vlog was created to supplement my radio show (which is every Saturday! Tune in please! You knew the plug was coming...) and yes, I intend to keep that up. But deeper than my love for the radio is something I have not really shared online until now. This passion is for the continent of Africa, but more explicitly for the beautiful East African nation of Uganda. 

When I was fourteen I was blessed beyond measure to go to Uganda with a team from Duke Divinity School on a pilgrimage. I was ripped to pieces, torn from the roots; I was re-planted, uplifted, broken, and made new. I had never left the country, much less seen poverty so destitute and hope so profound. I know this sounds like the typical African story: I saw babies strapped to their older-but-no-older-than-ten siblings, I realized how fortunate I was to be white and American and middle class. While to a certain degree those kind of stories are profound and beautiful, mine wasn't over yet. 

When I was seventeen, this past summer, I went to Ghana as a team leader for Habitat for Humanity. It was difficult and wonderful, but not in the same way Uganda was. I wanted to go back to East Africa, but the time was still not nigh. There was college to go to, classes to take, snow to be acclimated to. 

Now, after four years, I will finally be returning to Uganda this summer. My dear friend, Thera, who works for the Norht Karamojo Diocese and MCC, has invited me to be her intern. Needless to say, I'm thrilled and humbled and so ready!

That is what this blog is about; to chronicle my summer in my spirit-home.  I'll be honest from the inception: I believe in God, and I believe that sometimes things happen exactly when they need to and having the patience and endurance to wait for the right time is a gift. The fact that exactly four years after my first trip (which was after my first year of high school) I will be returning (the summer after my first year in college) is the perfect example. 

And let's be real, I CANNOT WAIT! So in anticipation I've started this blog (and no worries, Mom and Dad, I'm also compiling lists of immunizations and clothing to buy). For now, it's going to be centered on my preparations for departure and once in Uganda it will be, of course, about my adventures and lessons learned and joys encountered and challenges faced. 

So, friends and family, youtube followers and nerdfighters, won't you come to Africa with me?

Current jam: "Walking Far from Home" Iron & Wine (how appropriate!)
Best thing in my life right now: My Dad's 1989 Copenhagen sweatshirt. 
Days until (tentative) departure: 88

p.s. I owe some serious blogging inspiration to three very special people. 

First, to one of my best friends in the whole wide world, Hattie Gee, for her blogging humor!
(have a lookie:

And second, to my new friend Aly, who blogs EVERY DAY and started doing so while she was in France (lucky girl!) who inspired me to start and international blog.
(have a peak:

 And lastly but certainly not least(ly?) my dear friend Thera with whom I'll be living with this summer!
(have a read: