Students Without Borders is a WUSC and CECI program that enables Canadian university and college students to participate in exciting, volunteer learning opportunities in South America, Africa, and Asia.

Where in the world is Yanni going?

March 24, 2015


… Malawi!

Yes, that is correct, I will be traveling to Africa in just a few more weeks! At the moment, I am experiencing many mixed emotions. I guess I haven’t fully registered the information, yet. But I do know that I am anticipating the trip!

Hello everyone, my name is Yanni (short for Vongsouriyanh) and I have just accepted the position of Sector Research and Analyst Officer in Malawi. I will finally be able to apply my research skills out in the field! Very inspiring and motivating indeed!

You’re probably asking, who is this Yanni guy? I don’t really like to talk about myself (much) but I can say that I am a very adventurous and curious individual. I love being out on the open road, exploring new places and discovering new cultures. Initially, I was never formally introduced to the whole concept of International Development. It was through my “off the beaten track” travels in South East Asia that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this respectable sector. It was a love at first sight sort of encounter. The unique communities and generous people whom I met during my travels ignited my passion for social justice and equality. Something that I was always interested in. Many of my friends would refer to me as ” Yanni our little activist”, but what does that even mean? Personally, I am just concerned about local and global issues (social, political, environmental, etc) that affects me and people around me (as we all should be). I just thought that everyone felt the same. At least, I like to believe that we do.

Anyway, after traveling around, I decided to turn my passion into reality. This means, putting my backpacking adventures on hold and committing the next four years back in school and getting that degree. I am happy to say that enrolling in the Bachelor of International Development Program at Humber College (finishing up my 3rd year btw), in Toronto, was one of the best decisions that I had ever made (so far). Meeting and getting to know like minded individuals and faculty at Humber only fueled my passion for ID further. They inspire and motivate me each day (when we’re not stressing about deadlines). But seriously though, I do love my ID discussions with people who understand the sector.

Malawi will go down in history (my history) as the first African country for me to discover and explore. My first task is to research more about the country, the different communities within it, the culture, the current economic state, the food and the language. So far I can only remember “moni– hello” in Chichewa, which is easy enough. I am hoping to develop a more thorough understanding of the language while there!

Looks like I wrote more than expected! All in all, I plan on jumping into this internship with both feet. I know that it’s going to be an amazing experience and I hope to share more about my adventures once I land in Malawi!

P.S, what do you guys know about “rat on a stick”? I heard that its a delicacy down there. I am open to try it and I will post a picture when I do!


1 Comment

  1. Morgan Frese on March 25, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Wow! I can’t wait to hear further about your adventures. I am most excited to hear about the rat experience. Thanks Yanni!