The Rhodes Scholarship & Rhodesia

I have become very fascinated with a certain historical individual: Cecil Rhodes. Over the past several weeks I have been thinking a lot about applying for the top national scholarships for graduate study. Those four scholarships are the Marshall, the Cambridge-Gates, the Fulbright, and the Rhodes. Arguably the Rhodes is the most prestigious scholarship in the world. The scholarship was founded by Cecil Rhodes in the early 1900s and fully funds two years of study at Oxford University. It was the first scholarship for international studies.
Cecil Rhodes was born in the UK but he spent most of his life in South Africa and Rhodesia (modern day Zimbabwe and Zambia). He was involved in the mineral trade, specifically diamonds, and is actually the founder of DeBeers — before it turned into a scandalous affair.

Rhodes dream was to build a railway from Cairo to Cape Town so that Africa could be accessed by the entire world. He never lived to see his dream come true, still to this day there is no railway from Cairo to Cape Town. Backpacking from Cairo to Cape Town is on the top of many backpacker’s bucket lists…as it is on mine.

I have started reading Cecil Rhode’s autobiography, along with the autobiographies of Nelson Mandela and Dian Fossey, to learn more about his influence in Southern Africa. Andrew and I leave in less than 4 weeks for our last journey is Africa (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and South Africa) before we depart home from the Johannesburg airport. We will be traveling through Cecil Rhode’s homeland as I begin work on my scholarship applications. My applications, including recommendations, transcripts, resumes, activity lists, personal statements, and future plans, will all be due on September 1st to Brigham Young University. From there, they decide which ones they will pass through to the national committees on the East Coast.
Life is crazy here in Africa, but somehow I know everything will work out. I am excited to finish our adventure here and see what next adventure lies before us…

(Below: Andrew’s post)

This morning Kylie and I woke up early with the hopes of spending some time with the church wifi. Turns out the best place to connect to the net is at the church building. We gathered our things and left about 30 minutes earlier than usual. 

When we arrived the network was string, but a short 5 minutes later it cut out. That was problematic for us since Kylie had several emails that were very time sensitive and had to go out. Despite the stress of the power/internet dying, I actually found it to be a blessing.

With no network to use, I was very focused throughout the meetings. I’m ashamed to admit that there are times that a buzz on the phone is distracting, but not today!

I found myself more fully able to contemplate the messages, and since I wasn’t breaking my attention with a message here or there, I was able to get a lot out of the meeting in general. I think that principle applies to everything we tackle. The more we are able to focus in on the task at hand, the better we perform.

Just after church however the network came back and we were able to get everything taken care of! 

One thought really struck me today, and that was the need to act now and not be idle (in a number of things). This includes exercising each morning, and scripture study each morning and night. I resolved that each morning I would wake up 30 minutes earlier to make time for these important habits. If it’s truly worthwhile, it’s worth the sacrifice of time or energy to make it happen.

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