I can hardly believe that as I type: 1) the AIDS Walk happened. 2) my stay in NY is up in a few short days. 3) I’m moving back to Uganda in roughly one month.
This week marks 6 months since I’ve returned stateside. I realize I gave a nice little write-up of my first 2 months so I figured I’d do the same now for these last 4, all of which were experienced in New York. This post would include photos in a perfect world. I haven’t uploaded pics to FB in about a year… No promises but working on that happening soonish. Check my Insta in the meantime.
Working on the 30th annual AIDS Walk New York campaign has been challenging, rewarding, exhilarating, and fun. I originally was hired in the Teams department, then switched over to Office Management before I arrived in NY. I worked as Office Coordinator for my first few months. With about 1.5 months left until DOE (day of event), I was offered a promotion (yay!) and switched over to Promotions Coordinator. Learning an entirely new role, on the go, as things were really ramping up towards DOE was difficult to say the least. I learned SO much — I managed relationships with all of our media partners, liaised with our designer on most of our creative projects, oversaw that those creatives were installed/ordered/delivered (such as Times Square billboards, street banners all over the city, subway cards, t-shirts for participants who raised $150, etc). I helped implement the Light Up New York initiative which included buildings like the Empire State Building and One World Trade center lighting up red the week of AIDS Walk to raise awareness and commemorate our event. On DOE I managed the “Info Army” — groups of volunteers deployed throughout the venue who wear orange hats and answer any/all questions our 30,000 walkers may have throughout the day. I also helped honcho the finish line set-up, and drove many a 16-foot truck throughout NYC in the days before and after our event as well as any other random task needed (we are “all hands on deck” and have great, helpful, get-er-done attitudes here at AIDS Walk). We raised over $4.8 million dollars, beating 2014 and 2013 totals, reversing the national trend of declining AIDS-related fundraising. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in such a historic and important event, working alongside the most dedicated and inspiring people.
I was able to venture to Boston and DC during my time on the east coast. I attended a conference on International Development at Harvard in Boston which was perfectly timed as it was during my decision-making process regarding returning to UG. In DC I went to IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering — words can’t express how beautiful that experience was. Reuniting with not only so many great people I know and love, but with the work that captivated and compelled me for so long was amazing. It was incredible to be on other side of this event after being on the field side last year.
Living in NY is REAL. You’re in it. Whole books have been written on New York, and my musings would hardly scratch the surface of what this amazing city represents, evokes, and brings out in you. I’m so grateful to everyone who played a part in making my experience here so rich — the good and the bad. It was four months filled to the brim. I’ll elaborate more in another post on some of the lessons learned and the people who made my time so special…
I am SO EXCITED. I will be moving back to Uganda in early July to work for the Akola Project. I’ll also elaborate more in another post on my feelings about moving… there are many.
Thanks for reading… I love those of you that love these updates. Starting this Sunday I’ll be in DFW for the whole month of June enjoying time off and attempting again to fit my entire life into two 50lb suitcases (a feat I’ve still yet to master).
PS — a note about the title of this post. Trusting the tides, the winds that blow you.. and being flexible and joyful along the ride helps. As life seems to get faster and less certain, I have peace knowing it will all work out. God’s got it. Trust the tides that carry you to and fro and listen to your heart (cheesy but true).