35 Days and Counting!

The countdown is on! Only 35 days until I leave for my 8 month volunteer placement in Hanoi, Vietnam! I have been waiting for this trip since I first found the INDEV program back in high school! I can’t believe it’s finally here and I can’t wait to get on that plane! I have so many feelings rushing around inside me! I am incredibly impatient and want to get over there and start working as soon as possible. I’m also scared and anxious to be away from home for such a long time. I’m scared about the language barriers I … Continue reading 35 Days and Counting!

Breaking Language Barriers

I was lucky enough last summer to volunteer in Ecuador for 3 months. I decided on that trip as a small stepping stone before doing my 8 month placement! My placement was in a small farming community in Ecuador and boy did I learn a lot! There were a few bumps in the road but that was part of the fun! So the departure day had finally arrived, my bags were packed (full of crap I probably wasn’t going to need) and I was waving good bye to my family at the gates! I was off, finally going to do … Continue reading Breaking Language Barriers

Vegetarian No Longer

I was a vegetarian for 8 years and just last month I decided to start eating meat again in preparation for my 8-month trip to Vietnam! It was a tough decision to make! I originally stopped eating meat because of the mistreatment of the animals and I never thought I would start to eat meat again until I realized the connection between culture and food. Here in Canada we don’t a strong cultural connection to food but in many places around the world food is an integral part of their culture.  What we consume, how we acquire it, who prepares … Continue reading Vegetarian No Longer


Over this term one of my classes was dedicated to creating a fundraising event to raise money for my upcoming placement. It was very cool to be a part of this process as someone who has never done event planning I had no idea how we would accomplish such a feat. We started as a group of 11 students with no idea what we wanted to do and a couple weeks later threw a 4 hour event that went off without a hitch! This class project didn’t just teach me about event planning instead it taught me about working with … Continue reading INDEVOURS Global Gala

Nếu Không Phải Là Em… pardon me?

Today I did my first karaoke performance ever, it wasn’t at chainsaw but I’m thinking of taking it there next. My first time doing karaoke was in Vietnamese and the song was Nếu Không Phải Là Em   (don’t worry I didn’t know how to say it the first time either). This term I have spent 36 hours trying my very hardest to learn as much Vietnamese as possible. Unfortunately, 36 hours isn’t quite enough time to master the language but at least it’s a start. I tried singing Nếu Không Phải Là Em the 3rd class into the term so only … Continue reading Nếu Không Phải Là Em… pardon me?

GIS and Development

I have recently struggled with taking courses where I am highly engaged and thoroughly enjoy learning, however this term I finally found a practical and directly applicable course I had been looking for. GIS – Geographic Information Systems is a computer software that analyses and models spatial data. An example of this could be a visual map displaying land uses, population densities or the number of health centres in a given region. The next step was to see if this newfound interest had a practical place in the international development realm.   The possibilities for using GIS as a tool … Continue reading GIS and Development

Sport and Development

  Sport has been an integral part of my life and development as a person. I have participated in the sport of gymnastics since I was two years old, I started in a parent and tot class and worked my way to the provincial level. Gymnastics taught me a variety of life lessons that I otherwise would have missed out on. It brought me so much joy over the years but also I learned lessons of teamwork, determination, perseverance, concentration, goal setting, I learned to fail, not give up but to keep going and I have learned to succeed. After … Continue reading Sport and Development

Food Security Threatened by Climate Change

Food Security and food production are a growing concern with the continued effects of Climate Change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced a report on climate change impacts, vulnerabilities we face and ways to adapt. One of the areas of concern is food security and production, especially in developing nations. These issues are wide spread and will have detrimental effects on population if the world does not come together to reduce our green house gas emissions. Climate change and its related issues are not an issue we can sit back and wait to see the results of, we … Continue reading Food Security Threatened by Climate Change

Social Entrepreneurship: An Effective Tool for International Development Issues

I have recently discovered the link between entrepreneurship and international development. A combination of a marketing and communications class, a social entrepreneurship class and Green House (an on campus social entrepreneurship hub) has opened my eyes to how effective social enterprises can be in solving real world development problems. Green House is a social entrepreneurship hub at St. Paul’s University Waterloo, which helps students develop an enterprising solutions to social and environmental problems.   International Development can come in the form of social entrepreneurship, solving social or environmental development problems to improve the lives of those suffering. I believe there … Continue reading Social Entrepreneurship: An Effective Tool for International Development Issues

And So My Adventure Begins

This summer I will be embarking on my first international volunteer experience with the Beyond Borders program through St. Jerome’s University. I have been waiting for an experience like this since I found the International Development Program at Waterloo. For the past 2 years, I have been struggling to stay engaged with school as I wanted so badly to go out in the world and do something! That time has finally come for me and I am overjoyed! I will be volunteering for three months at COAGRO, a non profit organization located in Ecuador. This organization supports local development in … Continue reading And So My Adventure Begins