In less than 24 hours I’ll be headed to Boston Logan International Airport to board Air Canada Flight 7689 (speaking of that, I need to check in for my flight!). No, I’m not headed to Canada, Montreal is simply the first stop, among many, on my journey to Bamako, Mali. Mali will be my home away from home for the next few weeks as I volunteer at iNERDE’s Colonie de Vacances STEM, or STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) summer camp.
I’ve been constantly checking the clock the past few days and counting down the hours until my departure. I really cannot describe how excited I am to be a part of iNERDE’s first ever STEM summer camp. Having previously volunteered abroad in Dominican Republic I feel as though I have a slight sense of what to expect, but at the same time there are still so many questions running through my head: What will it be like coping with French, given my limited command of that language? How will I fit in in Mali? What about the kids at the camp, what will they think of me?
When I arrive at Bamako International Airport on July 4th, America’s Independence Day, many of my questions will begin to be answered. In an attempt to productively gather my thoughts, and capture my experiences, I plan to keep a daily journal that will be condensed into blog posts and appear here on iNERDE’s website. I consider myself the rare “tweeter”, once in a blue moon will I tweet. But for this occasion, I’m coming out of twitter retirement to give my followers live updates on my experiences. Follow me on twitter Follow @joeey_orlando to keep track of me as I help to make the dream of iNERDE a reality in our first Colonie de Vacances STEM (see, French is already pouring out of me!).