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I Guess A Brief Introduction is in Order…

Bonjour, my name is Olivia Trabysh. I am a recent graduate of West Texas A&M University. I was born in Amarillo, Texas but raised in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada for most of my life. Now that I have relocated back to Texas, in my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family here in the Panhandle. My hobbies are quite dissimilar from their interests. I spend my evenings watching international films, taking ceramics, ballet, and yoga classes, and devouring fashion magazines and postcolonial literature. I also consistently volunteer for the Hope & Healing Place and am involved with many issues plaguing refugees in the Amarillo area. To my grandfather’s dismay, I have not yet developed a knack for agricultural management. But, I appreciate the diversity of my family background. It is irreplaceable. It has humbled me and instilled within me a great tradition of hard work, unrestrained passion, and taught me to negotiate ideological differences in a respectful manner.

My friend Alex and I at graduation as we are waiting to be seated.
My friend Alex and I at graduation as we are waiting to be seated.

I consider my study abroad trip to Rwanda and Uganda in the summer of 2014, one of my greatest accomplishments to date. There I analyzed the socio-political issues impeding the stabilization of the East African great lakes region. While studying abroad, I fell in love with East African culture and cultivated a strong desire for community revitalization in all regions on all levels. I plan to return to Rwanda and Uganda in the near future to gain a greater understanding of the learning I started. However, the lessons I learned there are presently pushing me to continue my education in graduate school where I hope to study the intersection of conflict resolution, international relations, and the humanities and then apply those lessons here domestically in the United States, as well as high conflict areas abroad.

My host brother, class mate Meredith, host mother and I, in rural Uganda, near Gulu.
My host brother, class mate Meredith, host mother, and I,  in rural Uganda, outside of Gulu.

I look forward to the many ways an internship with Ogallala Commons will continue to humble me, like my family in the Panhandle unfailingly does. Also, I am ecstatic about the ways an internship with Ogallala Commons will allow me to utilize my diverse skillset and passions to meet needs and solve conflicts within the Amarillo community. Creating a plan to assist others, while enhancing the fervent personality and colour of the region sounds like a pretty fulfilling summer to me.