By: Bryan Kelleher
Managing Editor- Multimedia
Some people like to stay home over winter break, maybe even take an online class, and some like to travel the world. Through Sacred Heart’s Global Studies program, I was given the opportunity to travel to India to study Global Health in the Rural town of India called Jamkhed.
This experience will greatly differ from the typical holiday season at home.
Instead of attending a New Year’s Eve party, I will be watching a traditional ceremony involving a snake charmer.
While abroad I will also be working on projects that focus on issues involving the community. I have never experienced a full college winter break. Between returning two weeks early for track and field, and now traveling abroad, I guess I will never really know what it’s like to be home for the entire break.
However, I feel no regrets in regard to that. If there is ever a time to travel and see the world it is now. In the future, vacation days will be hard earned and tough to come by.
As the saying goes, if not now when? While in college there is no better time to broaden your horizons and experience different cultures. These trips are both educational and provide you with an experience that you will never forget.
To top off these trips, they are comparatively affordable, as well. Although staying at home and seeing friends may be fun, everything becomes repetitive especially if you are from a small town like me.
I am excited to leave the northeast and travel to India, because it will be a massive change in pace. Compared to being at home, I would take going abroad any day of the week. Although it can be scary being so far from home in a under developed country, the experience and the lessons learned greatly overwhelm the risks of the trip.
Our trip is aiming to make a large impact in the school community in the surrounding schools of Jamkhed. Due to cultural beliefs and stigmas revolving around feminine hygiene, girls attending school often do not attend while menstruating causing them to become behind in classes, therefore creating an educational gap due to gender related issues.
Our partnership with Days For Girls is bringing 40 reusable Days for Girls kits, which will in turn be able to keep girls in school without having to deal with the stigma resulting from menstruation.
These kits are hand sewn and are made from a fleece like fabric that in combination with other components acts as an absorbent.
The best part about these kits is they are hand washable and come with their own bar of soap. This allows them to last for years, keeping these girls in school to stay on track with their peers.
Although traveling abroad may be out of my comfort zone, I am confident that making an impact in other people’s lives will greatly outweigh any thoughts of uncertainty.
Rather than staying at home and doing the same thing I did for 18 years, I am glad to take the opportunity to see the world while helping to improve other people’s lives.