Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Home in Africa

While browsing through some of the information Cross-Cultural Solutions has on its site and within the community, I came upon this video. A nice 10 min clip of the house I will be staying in!

Find more videos like this on CCS Community

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fundraising Update - 3/30/2010

Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to my CCS volunteer program in Tanzania. As of today (3/30/2010) I have raised $1325 of the $3378 required program fee. Awesome!

The remainder of my program fee is due by April 14, and every little bit helps!

Many may be wondering why I have to pay to volunteer. Cross-Cultural Solutions is an International NGO and provides a good summary as to WHY there is a program fee, and WHAT that fee covers. In a nutshell, most of our program fee goes toward our specific volunteer costs (lodging, food, security, transportation with Tanzania, travel medical insurance, program placement, and program instruction). While I could hop on a plane and head to Africa on my own, I would have to find my own safe lodging and food, and security and local transportation would be on my own (and Dad DEFINITELY wouldn't like that). In addition, CCS works hard to find placements that suit our strengths for organizations that have a real need. In my opinion, the fee is well worth the opportunity to make a positive impact on somebody's life.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Africa - Here I Come!

Upon learning I would be laid off this spring, my San Diego girlfriends gave me a few words of sympathy and encouragement....and then immediately asked where I was going to travel to in my time off. The thought of not having a job was still new, and I hadn't thought much of future plans other than editing my resume. The seed, however, was planted, and I knew I had to take advantage of this "time off" to do something I would not normally be able to do during my 15 days of vacation each year.

My initial thought was to go back to Europe and backpack areas I hadn't seen on my last trips - Eastern Europe and Greece. I quickly realized that backpacking and sightseeing by myself sounded pretty boring. After serving food to the homeless one night at Father Joe's, I was reminded just how much I enjoy serving others, and decided that international volunteering would be an amazing experience.

As luck would have it, my co-worker's daughter did something similar in 2008 - volunteering in South Africa through a company called Cross-Cultural Solutions -and she loved it! I looked into the South Africa program, thinking it would be fun to do that, and stay an extra week or two for the World Cup. However, when I looked through the CCS programs again, Tanzania stuck out as something a little more intriguing. A completely different culture with backdrops of the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar island. I was sold!
SO...I bit the bullet and signed up. I will be volunteering from May 15 - June 5 in the Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania (in the city of Moshi). I am so looking forward to this experience to meet new people, experience new things, and help others that are less fortunate than myself. Ideally I would like to work on Women's Empowerment projects, educating Women about HIV/AIDS or working with them on sustainable income generating activities. I should find out in a couple weeks what my exact assignment will be, so in the meantime, I am reading all I can about the country...and learning Swahili! This is going to be a great summer! Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Will Work For.....

As I mentioned in my previous post, the past year and a half has been full of ups and downs, and the past 2 months have been the most tumultuous.

After finishing school in December, my first priority was to buy a condo or house. Prices were low, as were interest rates. I started my search in May of last year, but didn't find anything before school started again, so I put off my search for a bit. As luck would have it, one of the condos I looked at on the first day of my search last year was still on the market and approved for a short sale. I liked this place when I first saw it, but was afraid to jump on something so soon. After seeing many other places over the following 9 months, I felt like it was the right time to put an offer in. 1200 square feet, good location, lots of storage, garage. This would be the perfect place for me! Offer submitted February 5th.

Fast Forward 4 days to February 9th. I arrive at work to see our global manufacturing manager and two new faces in our morning meeting. They didn't waste any time, and cut to the chase. They informed our staff that the Vista plant would be closing this year, and that all manufacturing would be moved to our Minnetonka, MN plant. WHOA!!! How about that for a 180 in my life? I was NOT prepared to hear that at all. Before even calling my family to let them know I would be laid off as of May 7, I called Brian Long (my realtor). Ix-Nay on the Offer!

Surprisingly (to myself), I have taken this change quite well. If I had to get laid off, now is the perfect time. No house, no obligations, brand new shiny MBA, and an itch to do something new anyway.

To say the least, my life has been quite crazy. I am wrapping up things at work, helping with the transfer of product to our sister plant, brushing up my resume, applying for jobs, interviewing for jobs, training for Wildflower. Oh, and I decided to volunteer in Tanzania in May/June! (More on that later).

So...if anyone reading this knows of any jobs in Operations/Supply Chain Management, or can create any jobs in operations/supply chain management...PLEASE let me know. I'm looking to start in mid-late June. Please check out my LinkedIn Page. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Long Time No See

Hey everyone! I know, I know, it's been a long time since I've been on here. No, I did not literally fall off the face of the earth, nor did I stop racing or training. I just wasn't really inspired to write, and life was passing me by faster than I could've even imagined. The past year and a half has been full of its ups and downs, all of which have made me stronger and given me opportunities I never thought I would have.

I finished my MBA in December, and I thought life would be full of free time this year. I found that I am busier than ever, trying to fit in everything I want to do, and everything I put off for my three years in school. For this reason, I'm changing up this blog a bit. It used to just contain racing and training information, but there's so much more to my life than triathlon. I'll still cover some of my big races, but I'll also add pictures from fun evenings out, as well as new adventures.

Happy Reading!