Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Claire, Why are you in Africa?

It dawned on me that I should probably inform my readers (all 5 of them) why am I in Africa.

When I went to get my MBA I had 2 goals:
1) To learn more about business and open some doors, and
2) To figure out what I want to do with my life.

I can say with 100% certainty that I achieved both of those goals. While at TCU I worked with Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth and it is an amazing organization. That experience really inspired me to work for a non-profit.

Also, while at TCU, I was able to go on 2 wicked study abroad trips, one of which was in Cape Town, South Africa with Dr. Garry Bruton. That trip truly changed my life. After I returned home, I knew I wanted to work for a non-profit organization with an international aspect—particularly in Africa. (below are a few pics from the trip...)

The South Africa crew about to head to seal island.

Sunset at Camps bay, 12 Apostles (name of the mountains) in the background.

Safari Time!

From the over-look in Khyaelitsha, a township outside of Cape Town.

Enter Mercy Ships. I heard about Mercy Ships growing up in Tyler, but I didn’t know much about it. I visited their International Operations Center (or, the IOC) and was blown away at how many nationalities were represented on this beautiful campus in Van, TX [of all places!]. I met with the marketing director, and told her I wanted to work on the ship. Initially, she said that there were no marketing positions until Jan. 2011. Bummed out, I continued to search for jobs as graduation quickly approached.

The first week of April I received a call from Mercy Ships saying that they have a position for me on the ship as a writer! I was blown away. The catch? It’s for 3 months, and we need you May 1!

Shocked and speechless I was running through the list of things I had to do before I could leave, and GRADUATION was at the top of that list!! I worked things out so that I could leave a week after my graduation. The next 4 weeks was filled with wrapping up school, packing my apartment, preparing for Africa, getting immunizations, plane ticket, brushing up on my French, graduating and then moving all my belongings to Tyler.

On May 14 I boarded a plane for Paris and that’s when the real adventure started…..


  1. You were born to blog! keep the blogging coming! Cason

  2. Cason---fixed the comment setting so now I think anyone should be able to do it...pass along to the Olivers! love you!!

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  4. Jonathan is right - this blog is wicked

  5. Hi Claire! You are doing a fantastic job! Keep up the good work chica! Tish

  6. Claire,
    I'm hooked! I'm so proud of you and want to keep up with each and every posting! Adventure, plus such a meaningful pursuit with wonderful people. Oh, Claire, I'm envyous! What a gift you have for writing --- you are so YOU --- and it's so descriptive and fun! Love, absolutely love your sense of humor! I'm forwarding on to Will so he can keep up too!
    Love and hugs, Kitty

  7. I'm loving this!! We are at the Simmons concert tonight and have been talking about you! Keep the blogs coming!! Do you have a mailing address on the ship? As a first year teacher with the summer off, I've got plenty of time to mail packages!!


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