I was fortunate to have had brilliant and caring mentors early in my academic career. Rather than holding my hand at each step, they were scholars who trusted that I would be motivated to learn on my own. They shared books, coffee and frank advice. They also asked really tough questions. Like them, I now see myself not as a gate keeper but a gate opener. There are so many opportunities to work, study and travel in Asia and Africa. I want to help students who wish to travel there or just learn more about their own communities.