When I was going to Tanzania, it was a foreign
place for me initially, and I was anticipating dealing with foreign issues, but what I found when
I was there was that many of the issues that I was engaging with were very relatable within
the Canadian context. I think that goes to show how interconnected issues are and how
important it is to work internationally with, with partnered organizations in addressing
these sorts of issues. I went over there, expected okay, I’m going
to feel like this, this and this, and it didn’t ever happen the way that I expected it to.
There was lots of frustration and questions and writing things down frantically, trying
to make sense of it all. And when I came back, it wasn’t until I really talked to someone
about it that I was able to realize, and they said well, that sounds a lot like culture
shock. And I said, oh my God, it did happen, it just happened in such a way that I had no idea. Before I came here, I had the impression Canada
was a very homogeneous society. I came here and realized that it is probably far more
diverse than I ever imagined it could be. And I’m also quite intrigued by how that diversity
is handled, how it’s celebrated, acknowledged and is treated as a fundamental part of the
society. I think that has been very fascinating for me. En fait, l’Inde en général, c’est
vraiment un milieu riche en expérience. C’est totalement différent. Il y a tellement de
gens, il y a tellement de diversité, de détails, de couleurs, de langues et différents
langages. On change de ville, différentes religions, différentes traditions. Aussi
des, des gens de justement, d’avoir développé cette plateforme-là et surtout c’est des,
des gens en fait, qui sont spécialisés dans une technologie de communication et qui ont
pas nécessairement de l’ex-, pas d’expérience mais une formation en santé. Mais pourtant,
les enjeux de santé étaient, il y a une compréhension tellement incroyable des enjeux
de santé, des enjeux éthiques. Donc, j’apprenne, j’ai tellement appris et je voyais aussi la,
l’interdisciplinarité, comment ça peut, ça enrichit, dans le fond, toute intervention. On the flight, I was, like, you know, I know
everything. I’m at the PhD level, I have three other post-graduate degrees, I’ll be good.
And I’ll be very frank, within 48 hours of my internship, I got really truly humble,
because the amount of knowledge and the experiences that people around you have and the idea that
there’s so many more to learn in life, that it’s not as simple as you think, that there
is multifaceted approach to many different problems. For me, that’s one of the things I will always
reflect on. It’s sort of engraved in my head now. I had the privilege of traveling as also
a Queen Elizabeth Scholar to Johannesburg and seeing the social enterprise that’s going
on in communities, and the importance of community involvement and engagement. That’s another lesson I didn’t know before doing this Queen Elizabeth Scholarship.