WHEN THE JINGLE BELLS RANG.
Last Christmas, I had the opportunity to travel to Westerville Ohio for the holidays. Dr. Opiyo Steven, a faculty member from Ohio State University and personal family connection, was my host. This trip was my first time to plan distant travel; I was as anxious as I was excited. This was also the first Christmas I spent with family ever since moving to Canada for my university education. I fondly recall the taste of typical Ugandan food, which I had not had out of Uganda before. I also recall the warm feeling of being around family, and being able to interact with international guests.
While in Ohio, I spent most of my time in Westerville, a small town close to Colombus. I explored the commercial horticulture farm where Mrs. Opiyo worked. Towards the end of my trip, I explored Colombus city where I spent most of my time at Ohio state university. More importantly, I had a tour of Dr. Opiyo’s research laboratory and a conversation about his work in bioinformatics. In addition to reinforcing my perception of bioinformatics as an increasingly relevant and lucrative career, I had an opportunity to speak to Dr. Opiyo about his experiences establishing his professional career in North America as an immigrant from Uganda. I also learnt a lot from his innovations, and big dreams for diversifying the nature of his data analysis work. I find his experiences inspirational especially as I plan to apply for graduate school to advance my research career next year after graduation.
In as much as I had well-deserved moments to rest after a challenging academic term, there were many moments of learning on this trip.