Before beginning any story a reader should become acquainted with the characters, the setting and a partial plot. Since this is my blog you will not be surprised to read that I will play the parts of both narrator as well as the main character. Thus, let me introduce myself. I’m Raveena Samuel, I’m 22 years young and I’m an undergraduate student at McMaster University in Hamilton ON, Canada. I live with my lovely parents, my younger brother and our two beautiful pups, Diego and Albus (Yes, he’s most definitely named after the literary legend Albus Dumbledore, and boy does he live up to it!). Our family is of Indian decent, more specifically from the state of Odisha which I’m sure none of you have ever heard of but if you pull up google maps, that’ll show you exactly where it is. We moved to Canada about 7 years ago (this September) and have lived in a few different places before that as well. The quick overview: born in Odisha, lived in Kampala (UG), moved to Frederick MD, back to Kampala and finally Hamilton ON! Yes, I am fairly well travelled but I ain’t seen nothin’ yet! I wanna see it all, and one day I hope I will!
Which brings me to why I’m starting this blog! I, among two other students from Mac have been given an amazing opportunity to come to Odisha (yes my place of birth) as well as Varanasi and Gujarat, to work with local NGOs for women’s empowerment within the private and public sphere. Even though I have had countless adventures, many memories and quite a few stories having travelled frequently, I have never felt the need to relay every detail of my life for the “world” to read. So to me this is quite a new experience to start a blog that will document the next three months of my life. This adventure that I will be going on, and taking you with me, is however something entirely different from anything else I have ever experienced. This is the story of three young students (Raveena, Alex and Caelen) travelling halfway across the world to India in hopes of advancing our knowledge through a different kind of study.
Again since most of you don’t know where Odisha is or what kind of state it is I’ll fill you in a little bit (and this being from personal experience). I’m from Bhubaneswar and that is currently the capital of the State and yet even here the attitude towards women is archaic! Most women are treated as second class citizens with no voice, no opinions, no power and no respect. We all are aware that till this day women are by no means held on an equal platform to men (which is quite disconcerting since we have made such leaps and bounds in other aspects of life). The agenda of women’s empowerment is very difficult to approach, much less, accomplish. But change has never been made easily nor quickly. It always takes small steps before the significant can come about and this is the reason the three of us are now here getting ready to go out into the field and get our hands dirty.
This is merely the beginning folks, and if by any miracle I have taken hold of even a slight portion of your attention, please stay tuned for my daily (hopefully) entries so you can vicariously live through me and experience what it’s like to be here.
Hope to have you as a loyal reader.
Till next time,
Farewell, adios, ciao, au revoir,