My name is Iryna (pronounced ‘Irena’). I would like to begin with the most important comment and that is to say how excited and completely honoured I am to be heading down to New Orleans to lend my hands and heart to those in need.

I am a third year student at Ryerson University, studying Food and Nutrition. I have dreamt of becoming a Registered Dietitian for five years now. I am very passionate about food! The colour, smells and the wonderful tastes! (Oh-I could go on for days!) I love the idea of the ‘Eat well- live well’ slogan being adopted by many organizations. When it comes down to it, we are what we eat. I hope to begin my career in a hospital and then move on to open a private practice later on in life.

A little something about myself; I was born in Lviv, Ukraine and immigrated to Canada when I was seven years old. I have fallen in love with the Canadian culture, however I will never leave my roots and always visit my family back home (hence- still calling it my home!!). I am fluent in Ukrainian and hope to never forget my language, as it is a great asset to have when living in the world’s most multicultural city. With my spare time I spend it volunteering at various places. Currently I volunteer at a hospice as a Nutrition volunteer. I cook, bake and prepare dinners for all the residents in the facility. I love interacting with the residents, serving them my delicious meals, and knowing they enjoyed it.

When I am not working part time at a bakery/cafe, I love practicing yoga, gardening, cycling and going on vacations!

I am looking forward to travelling to New Orleans and building relationships with other students who will share this experience with me. The joint efforts of the people taking part in this trip will leave a huge mark on those affected by Katrina and the BP oil spill. The amount of homes, schools and roads that need attention and still to this day is extreme.

The St. Bernard Project is where I would like to inject all my efforts. It is such a great organization with three areas of support, that anyone can find some interest and volunteer! Rebuilding the homes of those in need is the first step to regaining their lives!

While reading many of your blogs I am thrilled to see people from across the map of studies, capabilities and experiences. We have a lot to learn from each other and see first hand!

I anticipate a great adventure! See you all soon,