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Silvia, Lindsay, Christine and Martyna smiling at the camera with their co-worker, Diya
“Nothing can prepare you for India, you just have to experience it.”

In the summer of 2011, four SFU Health Sciences Co-op students, Martyna, Silvia, Lindsay and Christine went on an INCREDIBLE 4-month work term to India. Working with Destiny Reflection, an organization whose goal is to empower female victims of human trafficking to become self-sufficient through dignified employment. Their blog series, SFU Health Sciences Takes India!, captures some of the experiences on their life changing journey.


I like cheese, brightly coloured tights, and Disney movies. My favourite food is mint chocolate chip ice cream and my favourite color is...all of them. I grew up in a small town called Magrath in Alberta (Google it – I swear it actually exists!) and I have one brother named Dylan. He is awesome. Period. But in all seriousness, I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity I have to be in India. Thus far, I love it here and I am making memories that will last a life time. Since coming here, I have come to realize just how blessed we are to have grown up in Canada, and I hope that I will be able to share some of my blessings with those who need them here in India. I look forward to spending the next few months in the Health Sciences Blogosphere (did you know that this is actually a real word? I’m not just making it up...for once) here with you! TTFN – Ta ta for now!


Diya is one of our co-workers at Destiny Reflection. She aspires to get into business school one day and is so passionate about the work Destiny does. She has been sooooo good to us! She even spent a Saturday with us showing us around Gariahat, which we really appreciated because it helped us get to know our neighbourhood better.  


Hello family and friends!  My name is Silvia. I enjoy venturing on hikes along the many beautiful trails in B.C., capturing Vancouver's urban life and stunning landscape through the lens of my camera, and savouring the sound of live music from the streets and venues of downtown.  Now I get to enjoy all of this in India: Hiking the trails of the Himalayas in Darjeeling, capturing the life of the markets along Gariahat, and listening to the mesmerizing music expelling down the streets during Durga Puja.  Can't wait to share this all with you!


I love everything related to water. I love swimming, surfing, the taste of water, the feeling and the sound (there is very little water in Kolkata, and we don’t have running water at least once a week. Oh, it’s all part of the experience). I am a chocoholic and drink way too much coffee (you will all here about Cafe Coffee Day in our blog). My favourite place in the world is the Oregon Coast; and Cafe de Soleil, is in my opinion, the best restaurant in Vancity due to its chill atmosphere and the proximity to all my friends. Here are a few things that I love about India: the henna you get on your hands, the air-conditioning, dodging cars, the food, taking the rickshaw to work with random strangers and the remarkable people we have met along this adventure.


I love water too! But I love it the most when it is crystallized as snow on a mountain. My favourite sports are skiing and snowboarding which are most fun when I spend the day with friends and family in the crisp mountain air. I also love practicing yoga with my friends and tap dancing. In India, Martyna, Lindsay, Silvia and I are taking Bollywood dance classes. Check out the song we are dancing to; it makes me so happy.

One of the things that I love about India is tea and biscuits. MIAM! Since we have been in India, every morning I’ve enjoyed and appreciated the simple pleasure of drinking black tea made with tea leaves from Darjeeling and a little milk and sugar. When I spoke to my family friends and colleagues about Martyna, Lindsay, Silvia and my international co-op placement in India, many people reacted by saying “India is very different,” and “nothing can prepare you for India, you just have to experience it.” I hope that our blog entries will enable us to share our experiences and reflections about India with all of you. We will be in touch as our experience unfolds.

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