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9 Aug

Yes, it is almost time for me to leave. First things first, a bit about what is happening: I am going to Scotland. The University of Glasgow, to be specific. I will be gone for one year. I will be studying economic development. The University of Glasgow was established in 1451, making it the fourth-oldest university in the English speaking world, and also older than America.

I am going because the Rotary Foundation selected me as an Ambassadorial Scholar. They told me to pick a university that was not in the USA. Glasgow has one of the best economic development programs in the world, so it was my first choice. Plus, Scotland sounds like a pretty great place to spend a year, what with the tartans and tweed and sheep and scotch whisky (not to be confused with whiskey, which is the incorrect Irish spelling of the word).

Now. A bit about Rotary International: Did you know that Rotary is almost single-handedly responsible for eradicating polio? Did you also know that Bill Gates has donated about $350 million to Rotary to help in their Polio campaign? Did you know that their motto is “Service Above Self?” I am very excited to be involved with an organization that puts Jesus’s message of loving “the least of these” into action (Matt 25:40).

So. I leave in two weeks. But I am not going straight to Scotland from Dallas. I am taking The Long Way to Glasgow, via Boston, Iceland, London, Bath, the Lake District, Edinburgh, Inverness, and the Isle of Skye. My super awesome girlfriend Rachael Chambers is coming too, but only for the journey there. Once we get to Glasgow, she sadly has to go back to Boston to finish school. I know that some of you are worried about us being in Iceland, but don’t worry. She and I will be on the lookout of that volcano that was causing such a stir last spring.