I had always counted my blessings when it came to traveling and seeing other parts of the world. Lately, I was beginning to sense that my luck may have ran out. Due to financial reasons as well as a tight work schedule, I often felt sorry for myself when I see amazing travel pictures of friends on Facebook.
Just as I thought I won’t have a chance to travel somewhere far for the next coming years, I have my lucky stars to be thankful for again.
Thanks to someone I know from work who recommended me to apply for the American Council for Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) Fellowship, I’ve been accepted to participate in this programme from 4 October to 11 November 2010. The ACYPL is a programme supported and funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
When it finally dawned on me that I could be going on a study trip, I told myself that I needed to do what it takes to get me there. I thought to myself how wonderful it is to be able to go on a fully-funded programme and to cash in on knowledge and experience about something which I have always taken a keen interest in; government and politics.
One should not misconceive that this programme is meant for young politicians although I’ll be traveling with three individuals who are affiliated to the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Democratic Action Party (DAP). This makes me the only female Malaysian candidate who is not affiliated to any political party. I suppose the fact that I do civic education-related work and that I am a woman, make for some of the reasons why I am chosen as an additional candidate from Malaysia.
There will be eleven of us; 4 Malaysians, 3 Indonesians and 4 from the Philippines who will be representing East Asia in the programme.
It is not without trepidation that I’m now in my final preparatory stage before I take my long long journey to Washington DC via transit in Seoul, South Korea, this weekend.
With my US visa in hand and in between stuffing excessive pairs of shoes amongst other more useful items in my luggage and trying my best to fulfill all TAS’s requirements, I brace myself for yet another adventure.
I’ll be blogging about this experience while on the go. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write something exciting and insightful like whether Barack Obama is really a Muslim or not (LOL!).
See you in Washington DC.
p/s: Adrienne, thanks for making this opportunity possible.
p/p/s: I’m also determined to find out once and for all whether Americans love to express their love in public, as portrayed by all the American chick-flicks I’ve watched on TV.