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Keith's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013

Good Day Everybody from the International Service Learning Program In Belize. We are having such a great learning experience here in Punta Gorda, Toledo District. This week my group and I have been assigned to 3 different Schools where we are provinding the students with health education. The Education Ministry identified to us the need for health promotion around the topics of Hand Washing, Oral Hygiene, and clean Bathroom facilities. We have been teaching the students the importance of hand washing, oral hygine, clean bathrooms and how to prevent the spread of germs. Having had the opportunity to go into the schools and assess the facilities they have it was very evident the need for education. It's evident that the children are aware of the importance for proper hygine and clean bathroom facilities. The issue lies with the students not having the resources to properly carry out the task of proper hygine and sanitation. Using the resources they have available we created a teaching plan that meets their needs in the best sanitary way possible. Being in Belize I have gained the picture of what real poverty looks like. Back home in Canada we have poverty but it's a different kind of poverty. In Canada we have social programs to help meet the needs of Canadians while in Belize they do not have the opportunities that we have in the developed world.
Having gained the opportunity to participate in this service learning program is providing me with experience in health promotion. Its teaching me how to work and interact with different cultures while being sensitive to cultural norms. International service learning allows me to expand on my skill set through portfolio development. I'm very excited for next week to gain an opportunity to work with Hillside Health Healthcare International. Where I will be working in their clinic as a nurse and going out on the mobile clinic to the Villages of the Toledo district.

You Outta Belize it,

Keith Torrey
Licensed Practical Nursing Student
Strait Area Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:39 Archived in Belize Tagged education belize nova_scotia nursing health study_abroad Comments (0)

Elaine's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013

As I departed the plane into Belize, I was blasted with extreme heat. I knew that it was going to be hot, but I was not prepared for this kind of heat. We were greeted outside the Belize airport by our tour guide, Martin. Our group of 13, our tour guide, and our driver (15 people) piled into a van and headed to Punta Gorda. As we drove on the highway to our destination, I saw numerous fires and ash from previous fires. This is Belize’s dry season and apparently these fires are started from careless people disposing of their cigarettes, people randomly starting them, and dry lightning.

My first full day in Belize, began at a school called Little Flower R.C. School. We knew little of what we were going to present to the students. We knew that our presentations were to include personal and dental hygiene. The first session was challenging, but we adapted very well and proceeded with confidence. The younger students were curious and eager to demonstrate techniques for washing hands and brushing teeth, but I noticed that the older students participated very little. I also observed that some of the teachers were not involved with our presentations. The second school we visited was called Punta Gorda Methodist School. As we demonstrated our presentation, the students including the older students were anxious for us to answer questions about Canada and answering our questions about Belize. I showed a class a photo of snow, and they were all amazed. They noticed the dog in the background and said “That’s an iguana!” (a long object on the deck). The teachers were also involved with each demonstration we presented.

Since the beginning of this wonderful journey, I have adapted and been flexible and embraced the diversity and cultural aspects of Belize. And I look forward to more experiences.

Elaine Shukys
Community Services
NSCC, Burridge Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 14:38 Archived in Belize Tagged culture education belize nova_scotia health human_services Comments (0)

Stephen's Blog

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013

After the very first day in Belize, I knew I had made the right decision to partake in the International Service Learning Program through NSCC International. I have already been able to demonstrate many of my skills as I worked in the Triage room at The Hillside Health Care Centre in Punta Gorda, Belize. I was able to admit patients, take pulse, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and other vitals. Meeting with many different cultures was fantastic. I got to meet local patients, as well as people from Canada and the United States, who were either travelling or now living in Belize. The NSCC faculty has been amazing, and all the staff locally have been very welcoming. I am looking forward to all the other clinical experiences that have been lined up for me. These include travelling to homes to offer healthcare, and travelling to isolated areas where healthcare is not available. I know that through this amazing experience, I will be able to go home and tell possible employers the great cultural experience that I was able to participate in. With Canada being such a multicultural nation, I feel it is important to be able to understand various cultures and experiences. I am confident this will add to my skills as a nurse and healthcare provider. If others are considering this program in the future, I highly recommend it-the opportunities are endless!

Stephen Filek
Licensed Practical Nursing Student
NSCC, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 13:33 Archived in Belize Tagged culture education belize nova_scotia nursing health study_abroad Comments (0)

An Un-Belize-able Experience

International Service Learning Program in Belize 2013

It’s a bad pun, but somebody had to say it as this experience for the NSCC group in Belize is one that will be life-changing for many. As the sun sets on the quaint city of Punta Gorda in southern Belize, the NSCC students and faculty from the school of Health and Human Services share a delicious meal together overlooking the Caribbean sea and debriefing on their first day of their International Service Learning program.

This year’s program in Belize has the students doing job shadowing placements at the Hillside Medical Clinic for one week and a community outreach project through the Ministry of Education in local schools educating the children on the importance of hand-washing and teeth-brushing.

The group consists of nine students Stephen Filek (LPN program at the Waterfront Campus), Keith Torrey (LPN program at the Strait Area Campus), Elaine Shukys (Community Services Program at the Burridge Campus), Nicole Peel (Disability Support Services at the Kingstec Campus), Amy Crowe and Kristie Greeno (Theraputic Recreation program at the Waterfront Campus), Tony Micallef, Nicole Boyd and Kristin Ligi (Pharmacy Technician program at the Waterfront Campus); two faculty Anne Schleit (CCA faculty, Burridge Campus) and Bev Stotz (Pharmacy Tech faculty, Waterfront Campus) and a manager Kelly McKnight (project coordinator, School of Health and Human Services based out of the Lunenburg Campus).

Not only will the group be getting experience and learning within their field of study, they will also be participating in cultural activities and tours and a session on traditional medicine in Belize. Stay tuned for blogs by the students and faculty as they reflect on this rich experience in health, education and culture.

Kellie McMullin
International Learning Associate
NSCC International

Posted by NSCC Intl 13:32 Archived in Belize Tagged education belize nova_scotia health study_abroad human_services Comments (0)

Last day in Lima

NSCC in Lima, Peru

sunny 25 °C


Last day in Lima, Peru and we are concluding with a visit to Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL). Luis "Lucho" Jeri Mannarelli is our host for the day, and yes he was yet another of NSCC's guests at the ELAP meeting in October in Halifax at the Akerley Campus.

Lima is a city of incredible size, growth and diversity.

We are staying at the Miraflores neighbourhood near the Canadian Embassy, and the 30 minute drive to the USIL campus gives some perspective to the size of this city of 9 million +. I have not seen driving this aggressive except on a sports channel. Luckily in our neighbourhood there are some very large speedbumps which make crossing the street possible if you are very quick.

Peru, Colombia and Ecuador are very "multicultural" countries with immigrants and influence from Europe, Asia and Africa, and Lima is a very multicultural city. Luis himself describes his family tree with branches in Italy, Yugoslavia, Germany, and Palestine; his mother who speaks 5 languages and father who moved the family to different countries while working in the oil industry.

The pace of development in the city is very visible and USIL is no exception. USIL has doubled its enrolment over the past few years to 10,000 students, and a new campus is under construction. Internationalization is a big theme with the university. The USIL VP International explained to us that the University has made a commitment that all of their students are required to complete an international exchange before they complete their studies. They have several innovative programs for incoming exchange students and faculty, including customized short courses at their new teaching site in Cusco near Machu Picchu (one of the seven wonders of the world) that focus on Peruvian culture, cuisine, and tourism.

After touring the impressive USIL facilities (including the biggest Canadian flag I have ever seen on display for our visit in the centre courtyard of the campus), meeting with staff and students, including a tourism student who has been selected to apply for an ELAP scholarship to do an exchange at NSCC, we had an amazing lunch with Luis in the Gastronomy program restaurant.

We have many opportunities to discuss with our colleagues at NSCC when we return after the long day trip back home tomorrow (leaving at 9 am, hope to be home by midnight!). I hope we will be able to open some doors and create pathways for our students and staff to take advantage of the unique learning experiences that are here in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.

- Katie Orr
Director, NSCC International

Posted by NSCC Intl 21:16 Archived in Peru Tagged peru lima canada nova_scotia nscc usil Comments (0)

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