SMPA alumnus Kim Hunter wrote in to tell us about her latest adventure...
SMPA alum Kim Hunter prepares for her multi-country trip. Photo courtesy of Kim Hunter
After a decade in the District, I've set off on a new adventure that will take me across three continents and more than 10 countries over the next 11 months. I came to Washington at 18 with the dream of working in politics and making the world a better place. With two degrees from George Washington University and stints flacking at the Democratic National Committee, Senator Jim Webb's office, and the anti-poverty advocacy group ONE, I leave D.C. inspired by a community of people dedicated to service in the name of others. With the current political paralysis, now seems like a good time to get out from behind my desk and see what people are doing outside the beltway to improve the lives of those not as fortunate.
At ONE, I discovered a passion for shining a light on the innovative, yet simple interventions that can lift a family out of poverty and give them hope, dignity, and a future that doesn't require hand outs to survive. On my trip, I hope to meet the people behind these efforts, see what it's actually like on-the-ground, and continue to shine a light by sharing my personal journey and their stories through my blog, Leaping into Life (leapingintolife.com), and on a few other sites. You can also follow me on Twitter at @LeapingIntoLife for 140 character musings, pictures, and travel tips from on the road.
I've just arrived in Bogota, Columbia, after a couple of weeks of learning Spanish in Costa Rica and living with a local family. I'll be in South America for the next three months in Columbia, Peru, and Argentina for about a month at a time. Southeast Asia will be the next stop with two months (May, June) traveling overland through Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. After SE Asia, I'm going to sub-Saharan Africa for two or three months (July, August, September) and will end my travels in India.
You are all world changers with expansive networks of people doing awesome things. I'd like to meet those people. I'm hoping you'll take a moment to think about the places I'll be visiting (see easy to read list below with tentative dates) and if you know anyone there or within a few degrees who you could introduce me, I'd really appreciate it. I'll be traveling alone so any friendly faces and/or advice would be welcome.
All my best,
SMPA Class of 2005, GSPM Class of 2007
Round the World Rundown
Costa Rica - January 13-30
Columbia - February
Peru - March
Argentina - April
Vietnam - May
Cambodia - late May/ early June
Thailand - June
Rwanda, Kenya, Zambia - July/ August
Uganda/ Others - August
India - September/ October
Greece (maybe)/ Home for the holidays - November