I am a Chemistry-enthused Clinical Laboratory student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.   My loves include live cell separation research, learning about infectious disease, and my two golden retrievers.  I occasionally succumb to the temptations of a life-long love affair with horseback riding.  This year plunges have included an occasionally rocky engagement, the recent purchase of a Pontiac Vibe, and joining a bowling league (not enthusiastically though I’ve recently celebrated my first 150).  And this summer, I am leaving the comforts of Chapel Hill with its farmer’s markets, a Caribou coffee right around every corner, and the beautifully wistful manicured grounds of campus to visit my friends at Amani Children’s Home near Moshi, Tanzania followed by a couple of months in Lilongwe, Malawi.

In step with my American heritage, I have gathered goals for my trip that continue to mount.  In Moshi, I’ll bring the children and teachers of Amani their first microscope and prepared slides in hopes of incorporating them into their science curriculum.  In Lilongwe, I’ll indulge my love of labs by volunteering as a molecular lab tech for the Tidzewe Center of UNC Project Malawi – specifically on an Abbott HIV RNA Viral Load Assay.   Most importantly however, I look forward to that which steals the heart of every occasional traveler: the joy of a simple meal, of introspection, and of piecing together all the commonalities between people of every culture as I encounter them, one by one.