Monday, April 30, 2007
First off, my sincere apologies that this is late. This is my first time blogging and I hope that I am doing it right :).
My name is Nishu and I just graduated from McMaster in Economics and Political Science. I am starting my Masters in September at Carleton University in Ottawa. I am a pretty simple guy (I hope) who is very close to his family and friends - and always looking for new adventures.
I have just finished reading all the blogs and am so excited for the trip! Everyone sounds like such an interesting bunch that will bring something unique to the group. This SIHI trip will be my third time to India, the last time I went was 11 years ago and it was to Punjab state (where my parents are from). I am super excited to visit the different places in Uttranchal and for the hike as well. This will be my first time hiking, so this will definitely be a new experience for me! I have a few close friends who have been on previous SIHI trips and they definitely have felt that it has been a life changing experience - so I am really looking forward to the whole experience and to making some new close friends.
I will see you all in less than four days!
- Nishu Gulati
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Here is a blip from Abhishek, your translator:
My name is Abhishek Elias. I am 19 and love Basketball. I did my 10+2 in 2007. My results will be out by end of the May – and I hope they are good :-(
I love reading, listening to music, playing cricket. I have done some trekking too. And I guess, I will be joining you on the Eco-trek too, as a safety officer!
I grew up in
Safe and Happy journey from all of us!
Monday, April 23, 2007
Dear Students, Parents and Friends
Here are the important contact details; please see this in conjunction with the tentative schedule in an earlier post:
(a) Cellphones with the group:
(0091)- 9211384441 (with Raman, a participant)
(b) Sachin & Marian
Sachin’s cellphone: (0091)- 9412058272
Marian’s cellphone: (0091)- 9917078033
Fixed phone at home: (0091)- 1360-250600
(c) SMTA Hostel (Vikasnagar)
Fixed phone: (0091)-1360-260450
Ruben and Maggi’s cellphone: (0091)- 9412409954 and 9319955916
(d) Field location in Mountains (Jakhdhar, Chakrata)
Fixed phone: (0091)-1360-262230
Cellphone services are patchy in the mountains and sluggish during peak hours ( in the morning and late in the evening Indian time). But they do work!
(e) Email contact for emergency:
(f) During eco-trek, contact with students will be difficult since there is no cellphone coverage in the higher mountains. But at the beginning and at the end, the group will phone home.
(g) Above all, please bookmark this blog for latest updates. Students will be regularly posting to it!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Pradeep and I met with the second group last night, the one focusing on Traditional Medicine. Looks like all of you have some good ideas. Mohini, you may be needed from time to time by Group 2 for interviewing some women...i.e. traditional birth attendants.
We'll keep in touch.
Don't forget to let your parents have our phone number- 905-522-1386- and we'll also have an email list to let them know in case of anything unexpected in India.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Core module (30 days)
Arrival 4th May night, at
5th May: Rest and marketing: Purchase Indian garments and other supplies in Vikasnagar market
6th – 8th May: Local day trips to places of cultural importance
(6th May - Haridwar, Rishikesh;
7th May-Mussoorie, Dehradun;
8th May - Paonta sahib, Asan Barrage, Asokan edict)
9th May: Preparation for field phase (Marketing, documentation, rest)
10th May: Travel from Vikasnagar to the Field center (Jakhdhar near Chakrata) and stay there till 31st May; Visit to villages and other institutions of interest (health centers etc) as per feasibility/ availability. Schedule will be discussed and finalized once there. Around 28th May: Fitness test for Eco-trek will be conducted and relevant details will be discussed.
June 1st : Travel back to SMTA hostel, Vikasnagar
June 2nd : Presentation of findings (for validation) and lessons learnt to a selected audience, if AI course requirements met. Else, the group can have an internal sharing.
June 3rd : Core module ends. Dispersal. Travel back to
(Eco trek group will have a final check up and rehearsal of their equipment, supplies etc on 4th June in SMTA hostel)
Optional Eco-Trek Module
Ten days eco-trek in middle
5th June, 7 am: departure by road for Uttarkashi; camp beyond Saura village
6th June: camp at
7th June: camp at Jhalla chatti
9th June: Camp at Bhairo chatti; (half day for rest)
10th June: Cross Ghuttu and camp near the temple
11th June: Camp at Maatya bugyal (=pasture)
12th June: Camp at Panwali kanta (half day rest)
13th June: Camp near Maggu chatti
14th June: Cross Triyuginarayan, Walk to road head at Gaurikund (near Kedarnath).
15th June: Drive back from Gaurikund to Vikasnagar (10 hour road journey)
16th June: Students give a photo-session on ecotrek in the morning and disperse in the afternoon.
NB: General situation in the country may change without notice due to strike or other kinds of unrest or events. In the mountains, there are other uncertainties like landslides which can block traffic for hours and sometimes, for days. Please keep these in mind while planning your movement or telling others about your expected time of arrival/ departure. Please get back if you have any questions.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
As for your last message (see below), I realize we're supposed to pick up some Hindi, but I cannot read it yet... : ) What does the blog say/mean ?
Anyways, now it's only 20 days away (yes, I'm one of those people who LOVE to count down, haha)
Friday, April 13, 2007
This is my first experience with blogging, but it definitely looks very useful to get everything organized for us and get a chance to get to know everyone before we go! My names Sara Coles, and I am a third year nurse, who will be going into my last year of school next year. I agree with Nora… scary!! But it is also very exciting, since I really love nursing. As well, I also considered Med School very seriously, however I have now decided that I want to stay in Nursing and go farther in this profession. This decision is mostly because I wish to become much more involved in International Health, which interests me much more than continuing in school for so many more years. I hope to get much more involved in overseas projects through organizations such as MSF once I graduate and have a few years of experience.
As for a few things about me, I am originally from Toronto, where I grew up with my mom, dad, and older sister. My favourite hobbies include drawing and painting, unfortunately since I’ve been in university I never really get a chance to keep it up because I’m too busy. I love reading any kind of books, fun fiction novels or interesting books on international social justice and health issues and other cultures, which are topics that I am passionate about.
I am very excited to be going to India, I love traveling and India has always been high on my list of places that I wish to see. I love different cultures, climates, customs, food, and I can’t wait to experience the Indian side of this. Last year I went with a different Mac team to Peru, where I loved every minute of it. The main things we did were learning about different social justice groups, working with children’s organizations and helping to build a community centre. I definitely feel that I changed for the better because of this experience, not in who I am but on my outlook on life and what I want to be in the future. I really think that anyone who is going to India for this purpose will experience the same change, so never fear!
I can’t wait to continue my exploration in understanding more about the world, understanding myself and my beliefs, and having broader perspective of life. The more experiences I have, the more it seems to strengthen my passion for continuing to work internationally in health, poverty, other global issues. I am also excited to meet everyone, it won’t be too long now!
See you soon,
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I am a third year Nursing student at McMaster, and will be graduating at this time next year ... which is something that I find frightening! As difficult as it is at times, I find comfort in school.I realize I will have a secure job waiting for me before I even graduate, but I find myself wondering if the nursing profession is the path I that I truely want to follow. Yes, I know it's a little late to doubt my career choice, and I realize that it is a much respected career, but I know I want to go further. I see myself in McMaster's medical school in September 2008; I can also see myself in the Nurse Practitioner's/Master's program after a few years in the field of nursing.I suppose what I am trying to say is that I am very ambitious, and have many dreams and goals.
Aside from Nursing, I am also minoring in French, which I hope to use in my future, perhaps moving to Quebec, or France? I am also part of the Mac Flute Ensemble, having played the flute for 11 years now. For the first two years at Mac, I was on the Nursing Student Council, which helped me gain appreciation for the political aspects in nursing student life.
This year I volunteered in a neonatal reserach project on RSV (which is a neonatal respiratory virus), run by an RN at the McMaster Hospital. Paediatrics and Neonatology is a sector of health care which I very much enjoy working in.
As for my intentions with SIHI, I am looking forward to discovering India, through its culture, landscape, health beliefs, religious beliefs, ... I am not limiting myself to what I want to learn about! I would really like to learn about the health care system of India, because I feel I have gained a somewhat of a good understanding of that system here in Hamilton, and Canada. By learning about health and provision of healthcare on a more global level, I hope to become a more well-rounded health care professional, not with blinders limiting my views to what I see in front of me, here and now.
Anyways, wow this is long! (this is my first blog ever, so excuse the ranting, haha)
I look forward to meeting Dr. Sachin & Raman, and to all the adventures ahead of us.
All the best until then!
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
So its getting down to crunch time where we are all so busy with studying, exams and then on top of it thinking about the trip and packing. Im sitting here in the library on one of my study "breaks". I use the term break loosely because I have a terrible time trying to concentrate during the day so I usually find that my most productive studying happens at night. However, due to massive time contraints during exams I really am not left with any other choice lol. Anyways, Im a third year student with so many different insterests that it has been increadibly difficult for me to find my place academically here at Mac. I am primarily a Geography major, however I am also studying for 2 other majors at the same time. It is a lot of work but I love every second of it. I know it sounds strange but I thrive on the pressure to get everything done in short periods of time and then later the feeling of accomplishemnt when I know I have succeeded. That is partly why I love particiapting on trips such as this one. As some of you know, I did something like this last year when I went to Kenya for a month with a group of students (mainly from Mac but about 7 from across Canada and 2 from the US). We went there to build a school in the Masaai Mara. It was honeslty the best experience of my life. I made some of the best friends I could ever wish for, I got to meet a community and interact with them on a daily basis to the point where at the end I could have lived there for the next year and loved it, and I got to teach kids their school lessons and about myself and the Canadian culture. I cannot even begin to describe the rest of my trip in writing as it was such a changing experience of my life and I have not been the same since I got back (in a good way of course). I know this trip with all of you is going to be such an adventure. I can't wait to really get to know you all and for our group to really bond. The next few weeks will be hard with everything that is going on but in the end, when we are all sitting in the airport alone as a group after our families have said goodbye, we will all be rewarded with the start of one of the best experiences of our lives. I can't wait!
See you all soon, Lauren
(Dr Karen- your opinion also requested..)
While some of you may wish to carry your personal first aid kit, I was thinking of having one common pack too; those of you who are nursing students can respond to this and tell me if the kind and quantity are enough. The pack will be carried by students in rotation.
Crepe bandage (6 inches) – 2
Cotton bandage (6 inches)- 4
(Next three for anaphylactic shock / acute allergies)
Injection Epinephrine- 2 phials
Injection Hydrocortisone- 2 phials
Injection Avil- 2 phials
Tablet Diclofenac Sodium (analgesic)- 10
Tablet Paracetemol (Anti pyretic)- 10
Tablet Digene (antacid)- 10
Tablet Lomotil or Imodium (diarrhea)- 10
Tablet Gravol (vomiting)- 10
I have been conducting first aid training in voluntary agencies: the guiding principle is to use locally available material rather than carry every conceivable supply- which would be impractical. Lastly, if people are fit, warm up properly and take other well established precautions -we will be discussing these- I expect no injuries or problems.
Feel free to give me your feedback..
- Jonathan Fan
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Here is the address of the source documents, which define in great details, all about core and eco-trek module..
Please Check it out..
Saturday, April 7, 2007
While the other incoming SIHI students are all at
As I’m sure everyone is aware, living in
Exactly 30 days left before the SIHI – let the count down begin!
HHhhmmm what else...Im from a small town called Brantford just half an hours drive from Hamilton. I live in Hamilton with six other girls who go to McMaster during the school year. I belong to a family of four - Moms Pops and Nick who is my younger brother (we're really close). I have been dancing since I was two years old competitively in jazz, acrobatics, ballet, tap, and modern. I was in the McMaster Dance Company for my first and second year of university - I decided to stop dancing this year and change my focus - I have been volunteering with pediatrics at the hospital on campus as well as with a cardiac rehabilitation clinic on campus. Next year is my last year at Mac and Im torn between pursuing traditional medicine or naturopathic medicine afterward - I am leaning towards naturopathic more so because it is something that I feel I implement in my life already (you've got to practive what you preach in medicine in my opinion - this is very important) and I am SUPER passionate about it so...we shall see. Anywho I think I have rambled more than enough for now...I am going to go for a jog to clear my mind so that I can get some more studying in before bed - then Ill get up and do it ALL OVER AGAIN in the morning :) haha Looking forward to our meeting and exploring together!!! Peace and Love~ Chelsea Sek
Hi posted this same message today in a different place because I did something wrong the first time, sorry if I confusd anyone!
Dr. Sachin and Raman, sorry for not posting on the blog, I have been accustomed to learnlink and forgot about blogging!
I am really excited to come to India in less than a month! It is hard to concentrate on exams right now with the trip approaching so quickly and me growing more and more excited each day! I guess I will provide a little intro about myself....My name is Trish, I come from a family of five plus one chocolate lab, who I will get to see very briefly before the trip! I am in my third year at McMaster in the bachelor of health sciences program and am also minoring in peace studies. Although next year is my forth year, I am not sure what I will do afterwards. I have strong interests in international health and development and hope to pursue a career that incorporates these. I applied for the sihi trip because of my interest in international health but also because of the tremendous learning experience that the trip provides in terms of experiencing Indian culture, and embarking on a journey of personal growth!
Other interests of mine include outdoor activity such as jogging, various water sports, ultimate Frisbee, and hiking (I am really excited about the trek, i just got my Backpack last weekend!). I also like to read when there's time...the last good book I read was pathologies of power by Paul Farmer! Lately in my spare time I have been trying to learn Hindi by listening to a "learn to speak Hindi cd" my mom sent me....I have a long way to go haha!
I guess that's all I'll say for now... I should get back to studying!
Bye the way, thanks for posting the different reading material!
This is Mohini. I am sooo sorry that I have not been using this very cool site.
In fact, the bios that you both wanted, I have them all (just waiting on one more person
to give me theres). Its in a word document. Once I figure out how to post it, I will :D
I am soo excited about coming! And 9 of us (I believe) are coming on the trek! So it will be lots of fun!!! As Sachin knows, it will be my first time. My only trouble is getting all the trek gear. Hopefully, I can borrow off my friends/family here. This is the shopping weekend for me!
I have a question regarding carbineers. How many do I need to buy?
And also, what did the students do last year about money. Should I bring travellers cheques? If I do, which banks would cash it. Should I just bring cash? And the fee for the trek... is it 100 USD for sure? I just want to make sure my budgetting is on the ball.
A little more about my stay in India...
After the trek, I'm going back to Delhi and then going to Agra with my uncle who will meet me in Delhi. After Agra I will be coming back to Delhi and then going to Darjeeling/Kalimpong/Sikkim for a few nights, then back home to Gujarat to stay with my family.
I am veryyyy excited!!!
Thursday, April 5, 2007
There is an old Hassidic tale attributed to Rabbi Barukh.
It is said that the rabbi's own grandson was once playing
hide-and-seek with a friend.
He took great care in hiding himself and
waited for a long time for his friend to come and
When he finally came out of his secret spot,
he discovered that his friend was nowhere around.
Then he realized that he had not been looking for
him at all. Weeping at his friend's faithlessness,
he ran to his grandfather to complain.
Tears filled Rabbi Barukh's eyes also as he said,
"God says the same thing: 'I hide, but no
one wants to seek Me! '"
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
My name is Raman Kumar and I will be a participant in this year’s SIHI, including the core module and the trek. I am the son of Pradeep and Karen, whom you all have met, and I sort of fell into the SIHI last minute. Last June I graduated from Westdale high school and decided to take a year off between high school and university. I have spent this time working in
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Some of my friends active in the field of social development will be spending some time with you as in past years of SIHI. These interactions are planned to give you different perspectives on various issues which are relevant at the grassroots. Some of these friends would like to know briefly about you. Therefore I would suggest everyone to put up a few lines about themselves. It could be your introduction to the way you see yourself. Just in case anyone is wondering – you could mention a book or movie that you could not forget… games you like and hobbies you may have… your courses in university… you may even talk about your parents and siblings… your pets as well! I have two dogs!
To start this process, here I go.
My name is Satyendra Srivastava. Sachin for short. I have been working in the field of community health and I am the coordinator for the sihi group in
PS: Use a new post, instead of commenting to this one, while putting up your intro. I will request everyone to put up their brief intro over next 7 days..