Before the roller-coaster ride :)

Hola everyone,

This is Iyswarya (short: Iys) and am a 4th year student at UofC majoring in cell and microbiology. I am looking forward to wrapping up this phase of my post-secondary life in June and curious about what I might embark on next in my life.

Academics aside, I have been actively involved in various fields of service which involves aiding people with their transitions in life. Previously, I had been part of the inaugural Reading Week Calgary Serves Mustard Seed project focusing on the issues of poverty and homelessness at home. It was definitely a roller-coaster experience and I walked out of it with several questions and answers that I continue to address via other associations like Homeless Awareness Calgary.

This community service learning project to Isla de Chira will serve as a challenge as highlighted by my other team members – the language barrier, co-existence with some interesting bugs 🙂 and a new terrain and surroundings. My focus is also going to be on the learning aspect of this project. It is imperative to view this as a two-way exchange because I feel that I will be taking/learning as much from their way of life and culture while bringing in the assistance and company. I am looking forward to the small pleasures in their daily routine and how I am going to integrate into it for the short period we are there. It is going to be quite interesting to interact with my host mom, dad and my 5 siblings with my Spanish mastery (if I had any at all to begin with) 🙂 From the stories heard from Erin, I am going to enjoy playing soccer (with my abysmal skills) with the kids and also share the first awkwardly happy moments with the family upon our arrival.

I believe the whole team is stepping out of each of our comfort zones to be part of this project and it is going to be an exhilarating two weeks living and working together with everyone. I will continue to update the blog through the days with some wonderful pictures to along with it.

Finally, I would like to thank all the financial support offered by the Government of Alberta scholarship program, UofC Student’s Union and Shell Experiential Energy Learning program and the kindly donations extended by family and friends for this trip.

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