Honors Summer Adventures: An International Summer

by Rylee McDermott

My summer has been crazy and awesome. I’ve been running all over the place, and even though school starts soon, the adventures are still coming. While I’ve spent a little time catching up with friends and family at home, I’ve mostly been on the go to many different places.

My first adventure took me to India through Iowa State’s Food, Health, and Human Nutrition service learning trip. My group and I spent 2 weeks in Dharwad, a state in southern India. The most incredible part of those days was the time we spent in a village just outside the city. Following our time in southern India, we were able to get a taste of the North. The Taj Mahal, Golden Temple, and some other gorgeous attractions were on our list for sightseeing. The heat was intense – over 113 degrees in Delhi each day, but that didn’t deter Mikayla Sullivan and I from spending an extra week on our own in Jaipur volunteering at an elephant reserve. India is absolutely beautiful with the culture, people, and hidden gems. Plus, the food isn’t too shabby…garlic naan, anyone?

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After returning to the United States, I was fortunate to spend some time with some great international students. After going camping, canoeing, and kayaking with students visiting from Korea, the international agriculture club (IAAS) World Congress was in full swing. We had about 50 students from around the world on ISU’s campus and we worked hard to show them the best of what Iowa and ISU have to offer. This was a blast, as some of them were good friends I made at a previous conference.

Right in the middle of the World Congress (WOCO), I went to Boston for a week to train as a CHANGE leader for Oxfam America. I HAD A BLAST! Oxfam is an incredible organization that I am truly proud to represent now and in my upcoming years on campus. I might even try to start a club! πŸ˜‰

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When WOCO ended I ran off to St. Louis with a friend for a few days to relax, but now Mikayla Sullivan and I are back in full swing headed to Indonesia for another IAAS conference representing IAAS-ISU. And, while we’re there, might as well stop in and see Bali, right?

So maybe it has been a crazy busy summer, but I wouldn’t have traded any of these experiences. It has been incredible! Choose your adventures πŸ˜€

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