An Unexpected Internship
Blood:Water is currently seeking interns for the spring semester. Click here to apply. The deadline to apply is December 1. And check out this post from our current intern, Caroline, on what it's been like interning for her.
Interning for Blood:Water was the last thing I expected to do with my first season in Nashville. My husband and I moved here immediately after getting married in June for me to prepare to attend Vanderbilt Divinity School for a Master of Divinity, and for him to continue a long, scary job hunt while bills were piling up (employment is a blessing!). But while Ryan was busy filling out applications and going to every interview possible, I started searching for a more meaningful way to spend my time than hours with Netflix. So why Blood:Water? Here’s an extremely abbreviated version of my story:
My background is in Environmental Engineering. I just graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Mercer University in May. I could go on for hours about how life-changing and wonderful my time at Mercer truly was, but a program called Mercer on Mission Uganda was, without a doubt, the high point. Our program was focused around working with local entrepreneurs near Gulu, Uganda, to manually drill wells using the Baptist drilling method. Manual drilling is one of many methods of rural water supply that focus on moving toward a sustainable source of water in a community. As an engineer, I fully expected this experience to be the most meaningful of our trip, but it didn’t take long for me to be proven wrong.
An unexpected part of our trip was a week of teaching water, sanitation, and hygiene, or WASH, and HIV/AIDS prevention classes at Keyo Primary and Secondary Schools. I still remember many of the faces of the sweetest children looking up at me with the biggest of eyes as I made a fool of myself by singing, dancing, and laughing despite the nerves that kick in in front of a classroom of 100+ children, all in the name of public health; sweet children who deserve a quality education, clean latrines, clean water, and unconditional love. But many of them had to miss school days searching for water, especially little girls. I long for that to change.
As it began to sink in that I was barely a blip on these kids’ radars, it absolutely broke my heart. All I wanted was to stay and help each one of them have better access to cleaner water and show them how valuable they are. But the reality of just how short a week can be helped the focus of many of the conversations we’d been having as a class to sink in: Ugandans deserve to be the true heroes who improve the situations in their own communities. Although I had no idea how much of this same truth I would find during my time at Blood:Water, I couldn’t be more thankful to be working with an organization that lives and breathes the truth of the ability, creativity, confidence, and dignity of Africans every day. Because that is how we can end the water and HIV/AIDS crises once and for all.