There is so much that I want to share with you, but before I begin I would first like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to get me to Pakistan. Though there are thousands of GoFundMe pages for various causes, for me it was still very hard to ask for help. I put myself in a vulnerable position; one that I was not used to but I am grateful for the love and support that was shown to me.
For those who may not know, I was appointed Youth Ambassador of South Sudan for the International Human Rights Commission and represented my country at the World Youth Summit for Peace from Dec 7 -12, 2016.
When I spoke to people about me going to this summit many people were excited, yet that excitement turned into worry when I mentioned the location in which this summit was taking place. The World Youth Summit for Peace took place in a country that has been stigmatized in the media as a nation of violence and terrorism. I am not going to lie; I too began to be a bit worried once I heard the confusion in the voices of my friends and family after the third or fourth time. Regardless of what was said, I knew that the International Human Rights Commission would not plan and organize an international event four youth regarding human rights and peace in a location that they knew was unsafe. I went with my gut and worked to get there anyway.
When I got my visa and my ticket it became official. Everything was finalized only a few days before I was to leave to Asia for the first time. Though I love to travel, I hate long flights, I felt as though I was sleeping for ages. Finally we arrived and I was greeted at the airport from a distance by four amazing program coordinators who were excited to receive me. I also met a lovely woman by the name of Diana. Diana was a Goodwill Ambassador from Bulgaria who was actually on the same flight as me. We drove about thirty minutes to our accommodation and because we arrived so early in the morning we had the day to sleep. A few hours after our arrival I got a knock at the door, it was another delegate by the name of Ainura coming from Kazakhstan. Ainura also became my roomie. This was the beginning of an unforgettable six days. Let the selfies begin.
Because we had a day to kill before the summit would proceed we got a chance to explore a bit of the marketplace. You will find images below that speak to a bit of the experience I had my first day in Pakistan. There is so much to write about and share, so please look out for another blog post next week.
Peace and Love,