So a few weeks ago I promised a blog post. I’m now sitting in the airport during my
last few hours in Austin, and I guess I finally found the time. The past month and a
half have flown by leaving me with the disorientating feeling of being here forever,
yet knowing I barely got settled. It’s been amazing, exhausting, overwhelming, and
fulfilling all at once. The end is the worst part of any experience, but without an end
it wouldn’t be an experience, and knowing you’ll miss it is the best way to realize it
was worth it.
A little background, I’m the editing intern. I didn’t go on a trip with SOW partners,
instead I flew straight to Austin, and got to spend hours a day with the footage I
wished I’d been lucky enough to shoot. I think that not traveling with the teams
lent me a different perspective, and certainly a different experience. I worked
most closely with the UNC team. Angie, Erin, Molly, Flo, Eric, Debbie, and Ora,
were amazingly welcoming and it wasn’t just a pleasure working with them, but
befriending them as well. It takes a special group for me to feel totally comfortable
dancing with, and as I yelled my off key lyrics at karaoke last night I realized just
how fun this experience has been, and how much the people here have given me.
Reading through the blog posts, there’s many focused on the experience of working
with partners, of traveling abroad, and of finding purpose and acceptance in places
so foreign. I had that experience this summer. It just happened in Austin, not Africa,
and if not traveling abroad made me realize anything it’s that the power of SOW lies
most significantly in the students and staff that run this organization. The partners
provide the medium for work, but the staff and the students are the catalyst behind
this all. Being surrounded by so much creativity this summer was motivating, the
talent of everyone working here inspiring, and the potential for this organization to
go far beyond where it is now is very real and exciting. To any partners who might
read this, trust the next team you work with. If they are at all like these past three
they’ll have the ability to produce work, with the passion and drive only
found in students who are totally engaged in an experience.
I’m excited to see the next steps for SOW. The creativity and collective ambition of
the organization has the potential to truly create change. Leaving Austin today was
interesting. Like any experience its scary to leave a situation with people you’ve
come to love, and a place you’ve begun to feel comfortable, but it has provided me
with moments and faces I will never forget, and for that I know I’m lucky.