In one sleep, I will be heading to Asia for the very first time, though I’m hoping not the last. With just hours left until boarding for this long-awaited adventure, I am remembering a younger me looking bright eyed as I first fell in-love with the world that awaited me.
A small amount of travel at 14 ignited a very romanticised view of travel and now at 21, I unashamedly still hold said view. However, now with a few more countries set foot upon – it has grown into a deeper appreciation for the ability to gain such experiences and experience such richness of life.
As part of my final year of study in the Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics at Flinders University, a group of 5 of us are heading to the Tacloban City in Leyte, Philippines. I am grateful for the flexibility of this program, in allowing us academic and creative freedom in developing cultural competence and delving into our public health nutrition and personal interest areas whilst overseas. Applying your tertiary degree of study overseas is an invaluable opportunity and I am very grateful for the support of the New Colombo Plan, assisting with the associated fares.
The Volunteer for Visayans program is a community nutrition project, where we will be educating local children and families about nutrition, as well as preparing meals and other local initiatives. My favourite things when in any new place, is the food culture and getting to know the locals, so in many ways… this trip has already exceeded my expectations! We are also fortunate enough to live with homestay families in the village, which I’m sure will bring new connections, lovely memories, deep hospitality and true-life learning.
It is amazing to see how life leads you to certain places, and in this case – how fitting this adventure is for my personal experiences and passions in life. I have worked and volunteered for many children’s programs in the past, and I’m anticipating both wonderful similarities and confronting contrasts between the nature of the children we get to meet.
Despite all the culture shock, foreign lands and language barriers associated with travel, I’m mostly nervous about the likelihood of diarrhoea! However, I am choosing to go in with eyes wide open and remember that all such undesirable events do end up making worthwhile stories for life… See you soon Tacloban City!
Naomi Crosby, Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics student, participating in “Volunteer for the Visayans Nutrition Project” New Colombo Plan in April-May 2019