The Fall semester of 2020 is one for the books. Starting FIU in January of this year, joining IBHS was one of my main goals for my last year as a Business Bachelor. I felt refreshed, inspired and expectant after my first General Meeting at the Steven J. Green building. As time passed and more meetings, socials and committee hangouts at Wynwood took place, my spirit and goals began embracing a brand new concept: I had the potential to do great things, if I put in the work and excel at those little steps required for an ultimate outcome. My ultimate outcome, as planned, was to graduate Business with honors, with my IBHS stole and an OPT position at a company I believed in.
Come March, the work I’d done in three months became irrelevant in three days. I was on the Mango building at 10am on Thursday, having my latte and going over my schedule and appointments. I was at the airport at 9am on Saturday, boarding a plane back home and leaving my apartment and all my belongings behind. I only packed a carry-on, believing Coronavirus would be contained in a month. Naive I was. While I traveled from Miami to DR, the IBHS members designated to travel to India faced the alarm of a spreading virus thousand miles away from home, with the risk of being unable to return to their families.
Quarantine has been a big lesson for everyone. Some of the most evident things we can do and thought we couldn't are, in my opinion: working from home, abstaining from going out, disinfecting from our shoes to the strawberries we buy at the supermarket, having difficult conversations with friends and family, and appreciating the small freedoms everyday life offered us in the past. I’d love to be able to go to the movies, because now I see the freedom I had to go to a place I loved because of the popcorn and awesome motion pictures whenever I wanted to. I’m one of those people who at first didn't think about all that I was leaving behind, avoiding getting emotional, but in time I came to realize that this cleanse gives me more to gain as a human being. I see things I did not see before, like the value of community, the depth of social injustice, the importance of contingency plans, and the blessing it is to have your loved ones in good health.
As for the Fall semester of 2020, I’m ecstatic. My last semester at an university I deeply enjoyed, with my three months on campus giving me countless lessons on my self sufficiency, ability to thrive, and skills as a future professional. IBHS has been one of the things that has kept me motivated though remote learning. The Sales Competition is a brilliant business application where members have the chance to earn a spot in the yearly trip to India where the heart of the Bandhwari Women’s Project is located. I say the heart because what IBHS is doing has taken Bandhwari to the US market, in a small scale, and made it a artisanal import product. Filled with loved and intention, the women in India continue to create inventory while taking the necessary safety measures. All in an effort to continue working despite their circumstances, never losing hope and putting their kindest effort into being of favor for their community.
By: Nicole Haché