Saturday, July 23, 2011

Interview with an Intern

Awava recently started hosting an intern, Chrissy Meoni from Virginia, and below is an interview with said intern.

Awava: Hey new Awava intern! Go ahead and introduce yourself.

Chrissy: Hi Everyone!

My first experiences in Africa have been so fresh and fun! I’ve been in Uganda for a little over two weeks and I couldn’t be happier. I visited Cairo before traveling south to Kampala. Awava has helped me see Uganda in a whole new way. So far, I have helped with interviewing artisans, shopping for supplies, and creating an online database of information. Boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) have been my main mode of transportation, which are more efficient and more fun than traveling via car. I’ve even gotten the chance to participate in a Hash Run (a noncompetitive running, social and drinking group) with one of my roommates! Kampala is the city of seven hills and I got to see a view of Kampala and Lake Victoria on a visit to Cassia Lodge.

Now a bit about myself… I’m going to be junior at the University of San Diego, but I grew up in a suburb outside DC in northern VA. Studying biochemistry can be draining, but I love the challenge and my anthropology classes help me keep my sanity. Traveling, hiking, running, football (soccer for those of you in the States), and reading are some of my favorite activities. I love the water and the mountains… Anything in the outdoors!

Awava: How did someone studying biochemistry (wow, by the way) end up interning for a fair trade craft company?

Chrissy: My sister connected me with Kate (the two of them traveled to South Africa a few years ago). I'm interested in working outside the US once I graduate, specifically in Africa... Possibly becoming a professor, but I'm trying to keep my options open for my future. I love fair trade and sustainability and I'm hoping once I graduate I can somehow build a connection between green fair trade and chemical research.

Awava: Sounds awesome! Ok, so I assume you've been out and about a bit on your downtime. Take us through some of the things you've done to relax in Kampala.

Chrissy: I've got the chance to see around my neighborhood by running in the morning. I've also got to try a lot of food, like Rolex (which is similar to a breakfast burrito). The fruit is so fresh and DELICIOUS. I love the food here. And I have discovered a cashew and coconut chocolate bar, it's my weakness. At Cassia, I got to see the city from the top of a hill and I got to swim in the pool. When we have no power at home (which happens almost every other night), we play some board games, or bake cookies! I also got to do the Hash Run around Kabalagala, which was so much fun! Especially because I love running... And beer!

Awava: Well, it sounds like you're having a whale of a time. We will get a chance to talk to you again after we visit Gulu and you can tell us a bit about that and what it was like going fabric shopping. We're super excited to have you here.

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