My name is Shayla Baumeler and I am a student at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. I have grown up in Victoria, British Columbia my whole life but have recently completed my first year of living on the east coast. I am currently enrolled as a Biochemistry major and I am planning to double minor in International Development and Hispanic Studies. I love being involved in my community in many ways, including through sports such as volleyball and softball, through local volunteer initiatives and through pretty much everything else in between. In addition, I am extremely passionate about photography and documenting my experiences through my images.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the human body and have been interested in entering the medical field. Through my travels from a young age, however, a passion has ignited within me to become more involved in the development of health care in developing nations.
In 2010, I traveled to a rural village in India and helped build a school for the local children. The following year, I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina and worked in a Community Centre in the slums. Although both of these experiences were vastly different, one in a rural village and the other in a populated slum, I still observed poverty to its greatest degree. At the same time, the local people were the happiest people I had ever met. These experiences, among others, changed my perspective on my life. So, when I was told about Praxis Malawi, I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
While in Malawi, I am going to be working on the health initiative with a few other members of the group. We will mainly be doing preliminary research on the state of health in the village of Makupo and surrounding areas. We will be connecting with local families and villagers to understand their previous experiences with the health care system and ultimately where they see it progressing in the future.
More than anything, I am excited to connect with the local Malawians and the Praxis Malawi team to learn more about myself and the wonderful world around me. Thanks in advance for tuning into our blog; I look forward to taking this journey with you!