In 2007, I participated in a 6-week study abroad program in southern Africa with 10 other education majors from my university. We worked in the school of a refugee camp to model effective/appropriate teaching for the untrained women who served as teachers at the camp in exchange for a place to live. This trip was the event that sparked my interest in scrapbooking. I had returned home with 11+ cameras’ photographs we had all shared with each other, and knew I had to do something special to document this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I purchased every Africa-related travel scrapbooking product I came across once I returned home, and set to work creating my first-ever scrapbook layout.
During the trip, we had the fortunate opportunity to take some time off from teaching in South Africa to go on a 2-week holiday in Namibia, during which we had encountered the magical scene of a field of giraffes all staring silently off in the same direction, like they knew something we didn’t know about what lurked behind the treeline. I knew I wanted this to be the first thing I documented about the trip. As it turns out, it ended up being the ONLY thing I documented! After spending literally days perfecting the 2-page spread, I had already completely burned myself out.
Fast-forward 8 years, and I’d since completed multiple pocket scrapbook pages about everyday life and a few traditional pages about miscellaneous topics, but still hadn’t returned to documenting this epic trip. So this year, I’m challenging myself to finally work on it! To make the overwhelming task as non-overwhelming as possible, I’m not setting any “rules” about this project. Some pages might be digital, others might be traditional, and I’m sure I’ll end up with a variety of page sizes as well, but I’m okay with that!
Thankfully, after returning home, I spent a lot of time organizing the photos into topic-based albums on my Shutterfly site dedicated to this trip, and I kept an online travel journal of the trip to help share my stories with people back home while I was gone, so as I work on the journaling, that will be a valuable resource to help fill in some of the memory gaps that have likely appeared over the past 8 years.
To get started, I took advantage of a sketch challenge for a previous month’s Awesome Ladies Project to create a cover page and a few intro pages. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far (faces/names blurred for privacy). I’ll be sharing updates regularly as I work to get all of the important stories documented throughout the rest of the year!
Do you remember what first sparked your interest in scrapbooking? Let’s chat about it in the comments!