From Japan to Egypt

When one bubble bursts, another is just waiting to go sailing up into the sky. 

For those of you who read my last blog, you are aware of my recent life goal to get one of the free airplane tickets distributed by the Japanese tourism bureau. If you read my comments in addition to my blog, you are already aware that the offer to attract 10,000 lucky bloggers has BEEN CANCELED. That’s right folks. My bubble has been popped.

I learned of these unfortunate circumstances from a fellow blogger JD Japan who kindly wrote:

“Sorry to burst your bubble but I’ve read that they’ve cancelled this offer almost a month ago. Don’t give up your life ambition to go to Japan just because you can’t get a free ticket though. My friend and I were very disappointed as well when we read this article but that’s not going to stop us going there this year!” along with the link announcing the cancellation.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. A month ago it seemed as if the seven Japanese gods themselves were beckoning me to the “homeland” to wake up and find their godlike favor revoked. The Katelyn-goes-to-Japan fund is currently accepting generous donations.

Another bubble was popped last night in the form of an e-mail from the director of the Davis Projects for Peace initiative on campus. Projects for Peace was started by international philanthropist Kathryn W. David and provides $10,000 to college students with project ideas for peaceful initiatives across the world. Unfortunately, I was under the false impression that the deadline for project and proposed budget submissions were due on the 31st instead of the 23rd so I had less than 12 hours to formulate my idea. While my project to build a small library with donated books in a Philippine fishing village was not chosen, the selected committee was very supportive and provided the project with great feedback should I apply next year. Trial and tribulations of a graduating senior.

Now I have set my sights on another program located in a distinctly different climate, known more for pyramids and deserts than sushi or white sand beaches. While Las Vegas is a close second, I’m talking about Presidential Scholars Program at The American University in Cairo, Egypt– a one-year fellowship opportunity for graduating seniors from US colleges and universities. The program was listed on the BRIDGE, our university’s online database for internships and jobs. I stumbled upon it quite accidentally, as do many students who are not consciously looking to spend a year in northern Africa. As an applicant, you are required to rank three of the seven available positions at the university including Office of the President, Office of Development and (my personal favorite) the Desert Development Center focused on creating sustainable livelihood projects for Egypt’s desert communities. It’s different from ANYTHING I saw myself upon graduation and the application is due January 31st. Time to get a move on.

Life is nothing more than sending a finite number of bubbles into the universe. Some perfectly formed spheres find their way onto sharp tree branches and shiny needle points but others grow, unencumbered by gravity, and float their way to new heights. I say create bubbles early and often because the world can’t possibly pop them all.

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