After a couple rotations around the sun working in various neuroscience labs, I knew I wasn’t in love. Research is demanding. It can be incredibly rewarding, but you better be ready to love every second of the process- even the days when nothing works. To be honest, I’m just not in that place yet. I think that there is a good chance that I will return to research at some point, but for now I need to find something that is personally fulfilling on a higher level than just paying the bills. (Existential crisis much?)
Boarding a plane to Belize for 6 months is certainly a big change! I’m hoping that this time will help clarify my personal goals. Through Northeastern’s Alternative Spring Break Program, I was able to travel to Belize twice to volunteer at an organization called Barzakh Falah. There I helped build sustainable earth bag structures that would eventually become a home for abandoned young children and a transitional living center for young women leaving the orphanage system.
Now, through my self-developed co-op position, I am going to be working with Barzakh Falah for 6 months to recruit volunteer groups and increase our visibility on social media. The ultimate goal is to be able to open Barzakh Falah to at-risk youth by the end of 2017. I think it is possible- but there is a lot of work that needs to be done.
The biggest barrier in our way is that we are located in the small Central American country of Belize. When I first told my friends and family that I would be moving here, the most common question was, “Where is that?” or, “Wait is that an island?” or even better, “What part of Africa is that?”. The entire country isn’t that visible to the average un-traveled person. So how do we go about gaining visibility for a small non-profit in an vastly unknown place? I’m hoping the power of social media comes through for us.
Luckily, YOU can help! Check out our brand new Instagram/ WordPress Blog/ Facebook pages! Please like/ share/ follow us! I’ve been updating them quite frequently and there are lots of fun photos and stories from our volunteers. It would mean the world and you would be contributing to a lovely cause with almost no effort.