My name is Mary Shin. I’m a third year student studying International Development Studies and Political Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough. I am in preparation of embarking on my 8 month co-op placement in Kathmandu, Nepal with Fair Trade Group Nepal and Organic World and Fair Future. During my placement, I will be working as a Market Promotion Intern and hope to contribute and further develop my creative capacities to produce quality communications and marketing materials. I was initially attracted to this position because of the organizations’ close work done with farmers to create an eco-social market niche for sustainable and organic agriculture. Of my many passions, local sustainable food systems and food security is one of them. I realize that I will be gaining and learning so much from not only the job experience, but from the people around me. I can only hope that I can reciprocate the knowledge that I gain.
Some concerns I have revolve around the inevitable food sickness that I am likely to experience. I’m already mentally preparing myself that it will be worth it.In addition, I have been looking into attempting to research as much as I can regarding the language, culture, political system, social structure, etc of Nepal. I want to try and go in with as much contextual knowledge as I can manage to absorb in the time I have prior to departure. Also, I’ve been searching for some free Nepali language lessons in Toronto with no luck. I may have to resort to some self-teaching Youtube videos.
Aside from that, I cannot wait to experience a new culture and environment. I’ve heard nothing but praises for the beauty that is Nepal. I can already foresee the coming weeks flying by. There is so much preparation and planning to do in only a short two months! It is a tad overwhelming and nerve-wracking, but also extremely exciting. There’s so much I want to do! My first task will be making it out of the airport in one piece/ peace. *haha puns* *note to self: learn how to say puns in Nepali*
Until later and all the best,