Life has changed a good deal in the past few days! I am now in the research portion of my study abroad, which means classes are over and for the next month I will do an independent research project on trauma. For this time we move out of our host families, and I am living in an amazing house with 5 of my friends.
Check out our Gazebo!
This is what I look at as I eat breakfast every day.
The house is lovely, has a fully equipped kitchen and we all have our own bedrooms. As a future development worker who expects to make very little money, this might well be the nicest house I ever live in. We even have a house boy, who is awesome and does our dishes and is confused by our insistence on cooking for ourselves. As a student I feel I don't deserve this, somehow, but it was the cheapest thing we could find with furnishing and enough bedrooms.
While I am doing my research, and for the next three months, I have an internship with AVEGA, an organization created for genocide widows to address trauma and healthcare. They later expanded to work on legal advocacy and economic projects, and pretty much awesome. Check out their website! http://avegaagahozo.org/ I am working under two psychologist, which is perfect, because post-conflict trauma healing work is what I want to do with my life. So far I have attended a two day trauma counseling workshop!
Another piece of good news: I officially have a major! I applied and got into the Global Development major at my school! I have been planning on since I got into UVA, but have been a little nervous about because the major is small and competitive – less than 1 in 3 applicants got in last year. So its really nice to have a major :) I may also double major in religious studies, which is something I never would have planned, but I have just really enjoyed religious studies classes at UVA and have taken a lot of them, so I may as well get a double major out of it!
So life is pretty good :) Having my own house and making my own food has somehow made Rwanda feel mine. It is really home now. Some weird stuff is going on because of Genocide Commemoration Week, but that is a story for another day.