Monday, Dec. 30, 2019
I got an email last night that got me thinking about what I was preparing to do three years ago around this time. The International Reporting Project was a much-needed organization that provided grants for journalists to travel and cover underreported stories from locations across the world. Sadly, funding dried up and it shut down in 2018.
But I received a grant from them in 2017 to travel to India and write about menstruation and childhood marriage. Some of the stories I’m most proud to have written came from that trip, where I spent about a month in the country. I left for my trip on Jan. 1, 2017.
But before that, I spent a week in Helsinki at a residency with my friend Heather, who I went to middle and high school with. Anybody who really knows me probably thinks that Helsinki in January is my hell, but I actually enjoyed it immensely. It was great to spend time in the city and hang out with an old friend.
As 2019 comes to a close, I’m proud of all the work I did this year, and I hope to keep up the momentum going into 2020. I’m eager to travel more and am applying for various journalism grants and writing residencies to get the opportunity.
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year’s Eve and start of 2020! Here’s to a new decade!
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
I’ve had a blog off and on since high school (hello, Xanga!) but find sharing too much personal information gives me heart palpitations nowadays. BUT so many places want to know that people can create content outside of the traditional journalism story. So in that vein, I’ve decided to devote a portion of my website to field notes – little anecdotes from my time in the field while reporting stories or working in communications. Hopefully it will offer some behind-the-scenes wisdom to journalism/communications and everything in between.
As many know from my social-media posts, I recently returned from a two-week trip to Ethiopia. I was staying along the Ethiopian-Somalia border and working in a refugee camp. I’m still trying to pitch those stories (please get in touch if you’re an editor and interested), but in the meantime, here are a few photos from my time on the road and a few more details.
After arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we took a UN plane to the eastern border with Somalia. It was a tight fit, but the views were incredible!
We worked for about 14 days straight. Each day we’d wake up in the compound and head to the field in the refugee camp. Lunch was spent at the host community, which meant I ate A LOT of injera and drank A LOT of coffee.
It took about an hour to travel to the camp each day from the compound, but luckily on the way home, we would see some beautiful sights.
As I said, I’m still pitching the stories so I don’t want to share too much. But I met some incredibly talented and kind individuals who are seeking out ways to make a better world. Here’s some of the team on what we thought was our last day visiting the camp. Turns out rain kept us from flying back to Addis, but we were all smiles for this photo!
The trip was so rewarding and eye-opening – it’s hard to even tell people about my full experiences – yet exhausting and challenging, just how I imagined it would be. I hope to be able to go back again in the future.