I was extremely sad to learn that Weebly is not available in Uganda, and therefore I was not able to use my site. As an alternative, I used a Google Doc for the blog posts on this adventure...
There are moments that are long anticipated in our lives... things that we have worked toward and goals we have fought for. I am boarding the first of 3 flights shortly, and this is one of those moments that is surreal because you can't imagine that it is actually here.
If you are not familiar with the Fulbright program, it is a pretty incredible set of international opportunities for educators through the U.S. Department of State. It is highly competitive and prestigious. My journey with the Fulbright program has been quite an interesting set of circumstances. I first applied for the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) program in 2016 and was awarded the opportunity to participate in 2017. In a bizarre turn of events, the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) Conference was scheduled for the same weekend as the mandatory convening of participants for TGC. I had just taken the presidency of ASTE, and I had to choose. I would meet my obligations (of course) and decline the TGC opportunity.
The second round with Fulbright was in 2020. As the world fragmented into isolation from COVID, I applied for a Fulbright DAST to Uzbekistan. I was elated to be accepted and moved forward with doomed preparations that left me only days before my departure date with a canceled itinerary. The world was just complicated at that time.
True to my nature though, I decided to give it one final go. I have come so far, learned more, accomplished much. What did I have to lose? (Except perhaps the investment in completing the application.) This time to Uganda. This time even more my expertise... e-learning, blended learning, project based learning...
As I write this, I am sitting in the airport. Checked in for my flight that boards in 20 minutes. Months of preparation and logistics have gone into this moment. I am supported by my family, my partner, my friends. SO many people have contributed to making this possible.
I spoke with my counterpart in Uganda a couple of days ago. She reminded me to be flexible. That things are different there, and that we may need to change plans on the fly. She was right to remind me, of course. Because it is all about perspective... I know that no matter how much I teach, share, and give, that I will still be the lucky one in this scenario.
Don't give up. Travel. Get new perspectives as often as possible.
Captain Picard would say... "Engage."
This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the Fulbright DAST participant's own and do not represent the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program, the U.S. Department of State, or IREX.