Thursday, April 12, 2007

Anne's Second Leg

Hi friends, family and lovers,

I've decided to give birth to this blog as a form of communicating my second leg of worldly travels. This adventure is quite different from the last one (as you may recall, bugs, bras, pro-democracy rallies, trekking through a gorge...vs my next journey is going to be quite different).

As you may or may not know, I'm going to Malawi from May - Sept as a Junior Fellow (short term overseas volunteer) with Engineers Without Borders (, whom I've been volunteering for almost 4 years now. The reason why I joined EWB was because I felt an opportunity, a responsibility that we should be doing something to improve the status of the world as a whole because we have the opportunity and the freedom to do so. I decided to dedicate the majority of my time to this organization because of the following reasons:

1. They're a young, dynamic organization that focuses on being humble entrepreneurs - always willing to critically look at themselves internally and improve themselves.

2. They're impact focused - instead of providing once in a lifetime things (like goats, water wells, roads, bridges), we work together with local organizations to build capacity and focus on transferring knowledge and skills to these organizations so that when we leave, the work they do is sustained. We focus on sustainable development, which I believe to be key in helping people work their way out of extreme poverty

3. The people are amazing. I can't stress that enough that EWB attracts amazing young individuals. It's magnetic and the energy that we emit when we congregate is phenomenal. So positive and so willing to learn!

Okay, here's a little info on my placement:

This summer, I'll be working with Total Land Care in Malawi. TLC is working to increase production and income levels of small-scale Malawi farmers through improved agricultural practices with sustained conservation and management of the natural resource base. It has extensive experience in implementing community-based agricultural and natural resource management programmes in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique

I'll be located in Mwansambo in Mwansambo District, Central Region, where I'll be working with TLC on the monitoring and evaluation component of their agriculture and micro-irrigation projects. The placement's quite rural which should be an experience within itself!

My current state of being: A mixture of excitement and nervous energy. I'm excited to be selected to go on this placement, but I'm nervous at the same time - whether I have the right skill set, whether I'll be prepared. It's a new chapter of my life, which I'm sure will change some of my perspectives. I'm looking forward to this journey.

Anne (still-in-Calgary-until-April 29th) Chung