Summer has to be my favorite season. While I like the emergence of Spring and football in the Fall, the Summer brings hot weather, beach time, the sun setting later, tank tops, cookouts, and happy times.
My other favorite thing about summer is driving in the evenings in a sundress with the windows down, a warm breeze blowing, and listening to terrible boy band music, like “Summer Time” by LFO. (True story. I know I shouldn’t admit that.) This summer, however, I won’t be doing that. I won’t be driving, I won’t feel those hot summer breezes, and I probably won’t be wearing sundresses either. But am I excited? Most definitely! Through a series of random and very fortunate events, I got a job. In a foreign country. And it sounds perfect. I’m not sure I can even call it a job though, as it will be an educational experience for me and involves travel to places I have never been.
This summer I will be going to a village north of Johannesburg, just outside of Kruger National Park. While I visited South Africa last July, I’ve only been to the Cape Town area. I will be advising on social business start-ups in the poorest region of South Africa where the unemployment rate is extremely high (over 50%). I will be living in the village with a family. I’m excited about living with locals and learning about a new tribe and culture.
In preparation for this gig, I’ve been doing plenty of reading and research, both on the history of South Africa and on social business and development. I first became interested in social business a couple of years ago after stumbling on this online retailer that invests their profits in women’s micro-lending programs. I’ve even assisted in starting a small business in Kenya. This opportunity will allow me to put my Africa and business knowledge to use while gaining a more in-depth view of start-ups in rural Africa. I am thrilled for the opportunity and of course, can’t wait to blog about it :)
What are your travel plans this summer?