Cheers to A Cheeky Adventure

If I must start with a clichéd yet genuine opening to my last DukeEngage blog, then it would be “time really flies by.” Even after three years of college, it could be hard to be away from home for 10 weeks straight, especially almost half of it was spent away from school, in a country…

Signing Off

Asking questions and feeling grateful on my last day of DukeEngage.

A Prisoner’s Journey

The past few weeks that I have spent working at Her Majesty’s Prison in Durham, UK have left me feeling conflicted. On one hand, I treasure the opportunity to engage with prisoners whom I have ultimately found to be fascinating, unique, and engaging people. On the other hand, I am bothered by the number of broken relationships, families,…

Durham Durham

My time in England has been really transformative. Durham, U.K is very different to Durham, N.C. The greenery, the weather as well as the walking culture are some of the most immediate differences that hit me. Apart from that however, there were more pressing similarities. Both economies had been hit hard by structural unemployment due…

Revelations at HMP Durham

To be quite frank, when I first learned that my UK placement was to be at HMP Durham— the local medium-security prison— I was a bit disconcerted. Though I had been secretly hoping for the “prison placement” ever since I learned about it (after all, it’s uncommon and inherently enlightening), I began to grow anxious…

Service in the Intangibles

Yesterday, I was watching a football (soccer for all of you Americans) game between service-users from Waddington Street Centre and psychiatric patients from a nearby hospital. Since I have a tear in the cartilage in my knee, I was standing along the sidelines, admonishing myself for not being able to serve the members by playing…

Service on the Other Side

Durham in North Carolina and Durham in the UK are 3754 miles apart. In the past couple of weeks in Waddington Street Centre, I have realized that this number could be deceiving: the support I receive from the staff members, the welcome I get from the members/service users, and the motivation for both organizations to…

A very small world, indeed.

Many miles and a few time zones later, I have transitioned into the UK portion of our Durham program. After two weeks of living, working and learning here I have been able to draw many comparisons between the economic development and history of the Durham in the UK to Durham in the US. In “this…

From Threshold to Waddington

The transition from Durham, North Carolina, to Durham, England, has been a relatively smooth process (with a few exceptions). Regarding Waddington, this has been an eye-opening experience through the comparisons and contrasts of Threshold and American treatment of mental illnesses. Unlike Threshold, the Waddington Street Centre does not incorporate the clubhouse model. Furthermore, the staff…

Being From & Being In

“So, where are you from?” Not a hard question to answer, right? I’m from South Carolina, in the United States. I study at Duke University, and I’m volunteering here through a comparative service project on economic development. Of all of the questions I’ve been asked since coming to the United Kingdom, this one is definitely…

Life Behind Bars

Durham England is a quaint, picturesque town in Northeast England, rich with history and character. Cars whiz down cobblestone roads and friends gather at cozy pubs over a hot cup of tea. Amongst this postage-card image, one would hardly know that just a mile down the street, some of England’s most notorious criminals are caged behind bars at…

Life in Britain

These past two weeks have been jam-packed with work, travel, and exploring a new country and way of life. While in England, I am working with Team Durham’s community outreach program, along with Ashley and Anahita. Our time with the program is primarily broken into two segments. These first two weeks we have been working…