Kate Wurm
Kate Wurm
Southeast Asia, 2019 - 2020
I graduated from Belmont University in May of 2019 with a Major in Religion and the Arts and a Minor in Photography. My roots are set back home in Detroit, MI, but a piece of my heart will always belong to India. From September 2019 to September 2020, I will be an International Justice Mission Communications Intern in the South East Asia field office.

2020: The Year of Polly Pockets

I feel like just yesterday I was typing up my last blog post. 

After our big November events and Thanksgiving, I assumed life would slow down a bit, but...not exactly. 

Two weeks ago, our office partnered with an organization to create a day of painting, dancing, jewelry making, and magic shows for current shelter home residents. Our office split up into 11 groups, and spent all day with the children and the girls. The group I was in was small, and the percentage of English speakers within my group was even smaller, but that didn’t matter at all. Getting to interact with the girls and eat lunch with them was...well, beautiful and hard. 

Taken the day we spent at the shelter homes!

As someone who relies on words for connection, I was at a disadvantage; however, my below average dance moves and jewelry making skills were quite the conversation piece for the girls. They giggled as I repeatedly embarrassed myself, but they loved to teach me. 

It was sweet to return to the office on Monday, and hear about everyone’s experiences. The following days, however, were not so sweet… 

Did you ever take middle school science? Do you remember studying things like fungus and bacteria? I barely remember the school lessons themselves, but I do remember thinking, “fungus…? GROSS!” 

I should have paid more attention back then, because about 10 days ago I was diagnosed with a fungus infection. It started on the roof of my mouth and slowly spread down my throat. It was...well...just as my middle school self imagined...gross

*I have some oddly interesting photos of my throat for those who dare to face the fungus.

After 24 hours of pretty intense discomfort, inability to eat, and a few tears shed, my roommate, Emma, took me to a nearby hospital. A number of people examined my throat and came to a consensus on the diagnosis. Thankfully, along with the diagnosis came the prescriptions! I walked out of the hospital with about 7 different medications, syrups, painkillers, etc. 

I’m feeling much, much better today. And I’m feeling extremely thankful to be able to swallow things other than bread dipped in tea (you don’t want the recipe, trust me).

The good news is, in the midst of the hospital visits, we hosted our first official visitor! Kyla’s sister flew in from South Africa to be with us for a few weeks, and she is an absolute rockstar. She spent two days escorting me to and from the hospitals while the girls were at work. 

Alongside our visitor, the last few weeks brought us the gift of FURNITURE! The highlights being: a couch, a cabinet, a kitchen table, and one dining chair. We’ve decided that whoever has had the worst day gets the honor of sitting in the chair for dinner that night. 

That’s about it for updates, considering I’ve spent a majority of the last two weeks in bed, but there’s a lot to come in the new year. I can remember purchasing a tacky pair of 2010 NYE’s sunglasses as if it were yesterday. 2020 still feels forever away, and maybe that’s because when we were younger, it was the year that distantly represented adulthood. By 2020, I assumed there would be flying cars, world peace, and robots. Okay...maybe no robots, but I did I assume some pretty big things for the year. I assumed I would have almost everything figured out by 2020. When I was 12, I was so excited for future me. I was excited to be driving and working and falling in love and doing big kid stuff. I think it’s fair to say that the big kid stuff, like paying utilities and navigating human relationships, seemed a lot more dreamy from afar. 

Kyla’s sister, Kyla, and I sitting in my room reflecting on the past three months. (Emma took the photo!)

Although I may not be where I thought I would be, and even though I am not even one step closer to having everything figured out, I think 12-year-old Kate would still be proud of me today. She would probably moan at the amount of vegetables I actually enjoy and she would most likely gasp at the lack of time spent playing with Polly Pockets, but she would be impressed with all the big kid stuff I handle. I think she would even tell me I’m putting too much pressure on myself. 

The last two paragraphs are the very beginning of my 2019 reflections, but I really am hopeful for the next year. I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that I will be spending most of 2020 living in India, but either way, I hope it’s a year of surrendering to Love and laying down the pressure that I’ve been carrying around for about 8 years. 

So, here’s to 2020! May it be filled with hope, vegetables, robots, Love and less fungus.

*and hopefully, very few days of sitting in the ‘bad day’ dinner chair

Until next year,



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