I got back to Sydney about two weeks ago from a women empowerment volunteer trip in India. The trip was not perfect and not everything I expected, but it was a chance to see a different part of the world and come to an understanding of the gender inequality issues that are extremely prevalent not only in developed countries, but developing countries. But even being able to see the young girls stand up for themselves and just have the confidence to be independent and to know that their education is so important is absolutely remarkable. I think sometimes coming from such a privileged country most of us forget how important it is to value that little bit of education that is part of our lives, it’s remarkable what education means in these kind of countries. It’s also a place of safety from the physical harm that is put upon women that just walk the streets or sleep outside in their everyday lives. Especially in India, where so many girls are kidnapped, sold off, or tricked into human trafficking in the red light district. The school I volunteered with was called Ektara, they have an amazing program going but as many of the programs in developing countries, they need more funding to have more classrooms, teachers, uniforms for the kids, food to make sure the children aren’t going hungry, etc. It wasn’t an easy trip, as compared to my first time out of the country was Australia! One of the most similar, economically speaking, countries to the United States made it easier to transition; but even the third day into India I could see how different everything is, especially the mind sets of the people. Anyways, I did go to Calcutta, India and I’m pretty proud of myself to say that it was a step into my life of fighting human trafficking.
Now that I’m back in Sydney, I worked at Parliament house for the past 2 weeks with Lake Macquarie’s Independent Parliament Member Greg Piper. I interned with him throughout the summer in Newcastle, where I did research on several topics but right now we are focusing on creating a bill that will increase people’s privacy against CCTVs and drones. It’s cool internship I must say and I’m really grateful to even walk through Parliament house three times a week. And Greg Piper himself, isn’t your typical politician, I think majority of the time we are talking about the different beaches and about the environment, and oh how he loves his bees. He has a place for his bees in his backyard where he collects all this honey and loves it; really great guy.
Well now classes start Monday and I’m currently lying in bed contemplating how I’m going to make things work for the semester. Time for working, interning with Parliament but also Project Futures (anti-human trafficking organization), classes of course, and spending time with my lovely partner Joseph. It’s all up in the air but I don’t know, it’s fun when you start to realize that Australia has been a pretty good trip and I still have 6 months to go! Sometimes you can’t assume that everything will happen the way you thought it would, sometimes amazing things surprise you!