My name:

Angele Maraj

Where I consider home:

Either Orlando, FL or Boston, MA. They’re tied in my heart at this point.

My current occupation:

Graduate student at Northeastern University and Employment Counselor and Chief Storyteller at Career Collaborative, a workplace development non-profit in Boston.

My interests:

Film and theatre, finding great new music and books, playing the piano, songwriting, learning new skills.

What I would do if I had the day off:

Take the T to Cambridge for a class at the Dance Complex. Wander around Cambridge and Boston and eat at whatever place catches my fancy. Go see a movie or a play with a friend, and end the day settled in with a blanket, a cup of cocoa and a good book.

My favorite ‘bad’ food:

Chicken Tender Pub Sub from Publix. I crave it any time I can’t have it (basically, any time I’m outside of Florida).

Why I am going to Wayanad, India:

Wayanad is a unique area from a development standpoint because of its difficulties with growth in contrast with other parts of Kerala. I think that living in the area and working with Profugo will teach me a lot about how people who live there navigate these contradictions.

How I hope to grow during my time in India:

I hope that I can gain some level of fluency with the Malayalam language as well as a stronger understanding of how the development concepts I’ve spent the last two years studying in theory can be applied in reality.

My fears surrounding my service in India:

On a superficial level, having a run-in with a giant spider. On a deeper level, I fear losing my sense of purpose to the language barrier or to homesickness.

The three things that I must bring to India are:

Bug spray, my Kindle and an open mind.

If I could have an Indian name, it would be:

I actually am Indian but my parents chose a French version of an Indian name, so I’d probably go with the traditional version – Anjali. Plus, it’s the name of two characters in my favorite Bollywood movie, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

What does “Global Neighborhood for a better quality of life” mean to you?

To me, the phrase “Global Neighborhood for a better quality of life” means that regardless of distance, we all depend on one another for a good quality of life. If we consider those living halfway across the world as our neighbors and treat each other with the same care, demand the same level of dignity as we might for loved ones and friends living in the same town as us, then we invest in each other and this will lead to an improvement in quality of life for everyone. I see it as a mission very similar in nature to Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Beloved Community,” which was a globally inclusive vision for harmony and prosperity.