Reflections of Graduating Intern Nick Variava
After spending the first 18 years of my life moving to a new country every three or four years, my decision to attend Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, was a twist, to say the least. I had spent a reasonable amount of time in the Midwest before, however, I was still slightly worried about maintaining my international identity. To my surprise, the most landlocked state in the United States of America had a surprisingly strong international presence. Whether it was the Hawaiian and Asian communities on Creighton’s campus, or the Togolese and Ethiopian communities in the city, I was pleasantly proven wrong that Omaha would have little to no international flavors.
I was further taken aback when I was introduced to Ian Vickers during my Junior year, where we instantly connected over our shared experience of being Americans who had spent a considerable number of years living in other countries and within different cultures. This is when I first learned about Global Partners in Hope as an organization, and I remember thinking to myself, “How does an organization like this find itself based in Omaha, Nebraska??”. I knew that I wanted to participate and donate my time to support the mission and vision of GPiH. Growing up, I had always contributed my time to similar international NGOs and having the opportunity to continue doing that work was something I hopped on immediately. After about a year of volunteering, and as I prepare to begin the next chapter of my life, I will always know that my contributions to the mission and vision of GPiH went toward real solutions to very real problems, and provided hope to thousands of women, children, and families struggling to survive and thrive in developing parts of French-speaking West Africa.