Meet the interns | Becky Dale

26 May 2014 | ResolutionPossible

After meeting the directors as part of our ‘Meet Resolution:Possible’ series, we have asked our interns and alumni to write about their own work experience and education as well as their time with Resolution:Possible. We have been very fortunate to have people from all sorts of backgrounds working with us, and we wanted to share with you this great variety. We also hope that these blogs may inspire you to follow your own dreams.

Becky Dale joined Resolution:Possible in April 2013. She has worked extensively as a researcher on our website’s pages as well as the series for CAR, Rwanda, DRC and Burundi. Throughout her internship Becky has travelled all over the world for other jobs, including Ghana and Lesotho, where she is currently based working for Touching Tiny Lives. Becky is now finalising her research for our Uganda pages and is due to start her Master’s degree in London in September.

Becky Dale - IMG_5425 - Version 3

My Resolution:Possible story begins in early 2013, which makes me the aged elephant of the current intern team.

For each country page on the website, my job is to consolidate the complex histories and (hopefully) make the information digestible to casual readers. This means I get to dig through dusty tomes and browse decades-old articles to provide the back story for the current events and discussions that take place on the website and in classrooms.

And yes, I count myself lucky in this regard.

I suppose one could say that joining the content and research team of Resolution:Possible was providential. My parents instilled in me a love of travel, which they reinforced with family road trips to every corner of my native United States since the time I was only a few weeks old. They encouraged my insatiable eagerness to learn, particularly about people and places. Histories, cultures, languages, and world views – anything that at first seemed foreign – were all fodder for my curious young mind.

The books that kept me entertained on my family’s frequent long drives invited me into new worlds and taught me to refrain from judging a person or situation by appearance alone. Of course that easy sentiment is much more difficult in practice, but I found myself awed rather than repelled by the variety of places I visited and the many lifestyles I encountered. So much incredible diversity within my own country!

In time, I would build an academic background in journalism and international politics, a professional set of research skills, and a personal focus on central Africa. That combination makes ResPoss a pretty appropriate fit.

Becky Dale - IMG_9289

Christmas in Lesotho with a rather grumpy baby

Since graduating from university, I have worked in American and international political advocacy, researching endangered monkeys in Equatorial Guinea, creating access to quality primary education in rural Ghana, and relieving acute crises in child health in the mountains of Lesotho – a diverse but interrelated range of fields. One theme that remains, however, is how much I grow when I take the time to listen to people in the places I live, especially those with whom I disagree.

As I periodically transplant myself to new countries, I constantly find myself confronted by new experiences that challenge me to reflect and re-evaluate everything from core beliefs to daily decisions. In some ways, this experience embodies everything Resolution Possible stands for.

There is never just one side to a story. My favourite novels and stories present a series of conflicts that ultimately got ironed out in the final pages. Real life usually looks a bit messier when the story features the livelihoods of millions. While it would be impossible to hear every point of view and come to a single, unified chain of events and motives, the ability to voice differences of opinion is vital to proper storytelling. Often after muddling through many conflicting points, a common narrative emerges. We may not agree, but we can find common ground and move forward together all the same.

In the same spirit of discovery and tolerance that my parents’ enthusiasm and my own voracious reading championed, Resolution:Possible embraces open dialogue and welcomes multiple perspectives of complex and sensitive topics. As an historical researcher, I provide context for these discussions. My motivation, however, is to learn. I hope I will always be challenged to think again, think more, think better.

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