Leaving For Change

As I wrote earlier this month, my summer is going to be packed with a lot of travel and that has me smiling from ear to ear. However, if you’ll recall, one particular destination in my list of summertime travels was still up-in-the-air. Specifically, when last I wrote I had no idea where the Leave For Change Program might send me.

Today I can happily report that the plan is to head to Malawi sometime in July.

If possible, my ear-to-ear smile is even more ear-to-ear.

Since learning the news that I’ll be going to Malawi, you might think that I’ve been doing a bunch of internetting and Googling to learn as much as I can. And you’d be correct. But mostly I’ve been trying to read through the various documents that have been shared with me to help me prep for the experience. I’ve also been reading through blog posts from other University of Guelph faculty and staff who found themselves working in Malawi as part of their Leave For Change experience over the past several years.

As of right now, I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing while in Malawi, nor which city or town I might be visiting in particular – but that’s half of the fun. The only thing that I know for sure is that I have several days of training during the weekend of May 7th and 8th in Toronto and that the visa application process takes 3 full weeks1. This is going to pose a bit of a logistical challenge given the other travel that’s happening this summer. If I’m able to get the visa process started immediately after returning from Europe then my Leave For Change experience will likely begin mid-July until early August. Fortunately, that works out perfectly since I’ll need to be in Rigolet, Labrador for the Salmon Festival and the launch of the InukBook application on August 13th.

Yup, this summer is going to be crazy packed.

1 Malawi no longer has an embassy in Canada, so all of the paperwork must be shipped to Washington, D.C. for processing.


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