Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Welcome to Welland!

After a whirlwind week of leaving Vancouver to get home to Winnipeg and get ready for the Young Professionals Going Global Program at Niagara College, (with a roadtrip to Minneapolis and frantic visa preparations sandwiched in between), I was eager to meet the Niagara College team and my fellow interns.  Throughout out our two weeks in Welland Ontario, we got to know Lesley, Lisa, Jennifer, Mary, and Jos-the amazing team that makes this all possible!  They made me even more excited about this opportunity and also helped to calm my nerves! 

The interns bonded over results based management, cross-cultural effectiveness, and Boston Pizza.  We shared our visa horror stories, our past travel adventures, and our excitement at the next six months of our lives, whether we were headed to South Africa, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, or Brazil. 

The first set of photos show us taking over the residence BBQ with lots of food and even more singing. 

The second group of photos shows us being rewarded for all of our hard work with an afternoon vineyard tour and winetasting through beautiful Niagara wine country.  We visited Coyote's Run Winery with Lesley as our fearless driver in the Niagara College van.

Courtesy of Kristina Medow

Courtesy of Kristina Medow
Courtesy of Kristina Medow

Courtesy of Kristina Medow

The Countdown Begins...

The bag is almost packed, the visa has been approved (a miracle!), and now begins the countdown to my six month internship through Niagara College and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency.

Along with Sarah Vickery and Jason Merai, I will be heading to the cities of East London and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa to work at Walter Sisulu University and their Centre for Rural Development as an Economic Development Officer.

Detail of Eastern Cape Province

When I was first offered the position in the first week of August and we got our tentative departure date of Friday September 3, it felt like years away!  But now that we're down to 3 more "sleeps" on Canadian soil, I'm realizing that it is actually going to happen!

P.S. To enlarge a photo, click on the image.