West Texas A&M University has a Common Reader Book for freshman’s to read at the beginning of the fall semester. This year’s common reader book was Doc Henley’s “Wine to Water”, a story about a man who went from bartending to helping find clean water for the world. More than 300 freshman students wrote an essay for the Readership essay contest, and 11 of them were chosen to go to Uganda in March to help Doc Henley and his organization.
“I have never been on a plane,” Alfredo Rosendo, freshman mechanical engineering major, said. “A 13 hour plane ride is a little frightening.”
Aside from the fear of flight Rosendo said he is very anxious and excited about the opportunity that was given to him. For many students, this will be the first time to travel overseas and a trip to a foreign country takes additional preparation. Some of the added preparation includes getting vaccinations and anti-malaria shots. Students will also have to pack the right clothing and equipment, as they will be partnering with Doc Hendley on his water projects.
“We will be attending church services,” Abby Betts, freshman graphic design major, said. “It will be part of our cultural experience.”
Not only will the students be experience part of the cultural while in Uganda, but will also help out with the building of wells and filters. In addition to this, they will also be teaching some of the locals how to use the wells. While in Uganda the students will be traveling to Murchison Falls National Park and the River Nile.
The readership process consists of reading the book, writing the essay, and then submitting the essay to the contest. Of those who submitted only 17% of the 300 students were chosen to continue to the next round. The students are then required to go through an interviewing process before the final group is chosen.
“I didn’t make it, Jessica Moore, freshman Ad/Pr major, said. “My first reaction was really sad, but then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that it should simply be honored that I made it that far.”
The students will be leaving March 6 and will return on March 17.