I feel like the luckiest person on earth and that I am going on the adventure of a lifetime!
Ever since I have been a little kid travel has fascinated me. I remember in Geography class how I looked at other cultures and I was so interested in how different we are and how the same we are. When I was 17 I decided to join the Navy and see the world. I enlisted for 6 years so I could get some college too. My Dad was dead set against me joining the Navy because he served in Korea and that left a terrible taste in his mouth. He pleaded with me to reconsider but I really was excited about the adventure. I joined in the advance electronics program and left home November 1st, 1982. I went to boot camp in San Diego and I was there for Thanksgiving which was only one of two Thanksgivings I ever missed with my Mom and family. I was lucky though, some retired Navy Chief and his wife had a yearly dinner for guys in boot camp and I was invited with 5 other guys. I have a picture somewhere.
So I was in San Diego for 6 months, boot camp and advanced electronic school. Then to Great lakes for 6 months of additional training. I left Great Lakes in January of 1984 and my Mom drove back to San Diego with me. I did another school and then started on the USS Kincaid and later USS Arkansas. I was able to see the Western Pacific, Hawaii, Hong Kong, then a lot of the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, the Suez canal, the Mediterranean, to Marseilles France, then back to sea, out through the straits of Gibraltar, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean to St Thomas Virgin Islands, back to sea to circle Cuba for days and then finally through the Panama Canal and up the coast to San Francisco. This trip was a yearlong, mostly unplanned by the Navy because we were doing surveillance.. but in retrospect it was amazing.
Since then I have continued to travel the world and 6 years ago was inspired by a friend who owned a booth at the Dallas Farmers Market to take my love of travel and volunteer work to something bigger and that’s when I planned my first trip to Africa volunteering in Masiphumelele in South Africa http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/southafrica/11898917/Masiphumelele-violence-Protesters-hurl-rock-at-police-in-Cape-Town-township.html
From there I decided I wanted a bigger volunteering responsibility and found this Uganda trip and was planning to go last March before the Ebola outbreak. But now I am going tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited!
I AM THE LUCKIEST MAN ON EARTH!!!
Thanks, Brian Respect, professionalism and perseverance.