Today you’re hearing from one of my good friends from studying abroad, Michelle. This little lady has explored her fair share of continents; she recently returned from several months volunteering in Africa, which is where she acquired her “favorite thing.” I get to see her in just about one week and I can’t wait! She’s always down for an adventure. Enjoy! – Jorie
Michelle’s Favorite Thing: A Hand-Carved Map of Africa
I just moved to Washington DC last week, and I spent my first Sunday afternoon organizing my room and making it “mine.” That included finding a special place for my favorite thing in my apartment—a hand-carved map of Africa.
Earlier this year I spent a few months volunteering in Uganda, and as cliché as it sounds, it truly was a life-changing experience. I have a handful of mementos from the trip—bracelets, dresses, etc.—but the most meaningful one for me is this wood carving I found at a local market.
It’s an incredibly intricate work of art made from just one piece of wood, and you can see how much time went into carving each individual country. But aesthetics aside, I especially like the carving because it reminds me of my time in Uganda, which already feels like a lifetime away even though it was just a few months ago.
Looking at the map brings back memories of the children eating their morning porridge at the orphanage where I volunteered, and the nearby Rwenzori Mountains peeking out of the fog following an afternoon rain shower.
I know I’ll go back to Uganda someday, and I want to visit all the other countries on the map too!
Hopefully soon my whole wall will be full of souvenirs from new adventures to join my memories from Africa and previous trips to Australia, Fiji and Thailand (in the posters).
The best part about displaying the wood carving – it’s a constant reminder to keep exploring!