About isamarie

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So far isamarie has created 5 entries.

Leaving Again: A Time of Reflection

by Isabella Hernandez

Iceland has been one of the best things to happen to me. Without having spent so much time in India, where females are very much limited in their life choices and daily comings and goings, I wouldn’t have been able to fully appreciate the freedom and gender equality in Iceland and the overall lack of fear while living in this Nordic country.

When I think back to my life and general outlook six months ago, I am surprised at my growth. After that, looking back any further just makes me filled with wonder. I could have never fathomed where I would be right now. If someone had told me I would be traveling the world on scholarship even just a year ago, I would have laughed at the improbability of it.

I have felt a profound change within me, starting with my feelings of being a child; seeing them […]

Red Rooftops Piercing through the Perfect Icelandic Winter

by Isabella Hernandez

Hello, people of North Carolina (and the world)! I am currently living in Reykjavik, Iceland and working/interning at Kleppur, the first psychiatric hospital in Iceland.

Today, Kleppur is used as an in/out patient rehabilitation center, and is part of the University Hospital of Iceland. It is the mental hospital that everyone in Iceland knows by name. The mental hospital with an extreme stigma.

However, it was also one of the first places to do away with extreme violence such as using physical restraints and conducting lobotomies.

The famous doctor from the late 1950s, Dr. Helgi Tomasson, was one of the first from this facility who advocated against these dehumanizing practices. Even now, Kleppur continues to make steps forward in their established rehabilitation process by integrating the RECOVERY method from the UK and US. This method aims to create a tighter bond between patient, family, and staff.

To summarize the project: Creating […]

By |February 22nd, 2015|Gappers in the Field|

Learning Through Experience In India

by Isabella Hernandez

Hello, once again! I hope to just give a brief update on my current volunteer work and recent big experiences so far in India. I have now settled into daily life and am living with a Host family in Haryana State, in the northern part of the country, a few hours from the Delhi airport. During the past month, I have been working hard teaching chemistry, but because it is the Diwali holiday season, I have also been learning a lot about Indian culture and Hindu religion, and, I have to say, it’s having a profound effect on me.

The Teaching Part

So, for the past month I have been working as a volunteer biology and chemistry teacher at Acme International School in Sohna, India. This school is a rural private school and is run by my host family’s grandfather, Chairman Rampat Yadav. It has been quite a challenge […]

By |November 6th, 2014|Gappers in the Field|

Final Countdown! Preparing to Leave for India

by Isabella Hernandez

As I was sitting on the floor of my room last night, luggage strewn around the floor and my music playing in the background, I asked myself…how on Earth did my summer go by so fast? It seems like just yesterday I was graduating from NCSSM and hugging my roommate goodbye, diploma in hand and tears threatening. Looking around me I took in the mountain of 3oz shampoo bottles, art supplies, and various hiking gear. My next thoughts were along the lines of “I am actually leaving…wow”. Even writing this departure blog post is making me feel slightly nostalgic for the family I haven’t even left yet. Packing and moving out all of my things has been giving me tons of mixed emotions. One second I can’t wait to fly away for a year and the next I am frowning down at my graduation yearbook, tearing up […]

By |October 1st, 2014|Pre-departure|

GGYF: A New Family…A New Life

I had such a blast a few weeks ago with this amazing group of people. In preparation for our coming gap year, UNC’s Campus Y hosted us for an intense weekend orientation. S. Jakelin Bonilla, the gap year Director, was extremely supportive of our ideas for the coming year. Each of us worked on our own individual plans with the guidance of past gap fellows and the amazing Campus Y members. The three days were eye opening. At times I felt extremely excited and ready to hop onto the next plane out of the country, however other times I felt scared. It was really happening, I was going away for a whole year! In two months I wouldn’t be hanging out with my friends and family, and I would be all on my own.

Each of us was housed by one of UNC Chapel Hill’s past gap year students. Keely […]

By |April 21st, 2014|Pre-departure|