Welcome to the Gallery


Traveling and experiencing different cultures can have a great impact on the way we perceive the world around us. The following gallery posts are students’ reflections on their travels abroad.


An Experience with VIDA

by Abdul Rahman Ayoub

Before I was admitted to medical school, I attended the University of Toronto in Mississauga, where I was the president of a club called UTM ihap from 2009 to 2013. Part of my mandate as a president was to organize humanitarian trips for my members in association with the humanitarian aid organization, VIDA. I would take with me around 20 to 25 students to Central America in order to volunteer and provide medical and dental care to impoverished areas of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. This care included medications purchased through fundraising that we would bring with us from Canada. I felt like we made a huge impact on the lives of many people in Central America who neither had any access to health care nor were able to afford health care in their country’s system. The following images are from my trip to Nicaragua in May 2013.

Published on May 12th, 2016

About the student

Abdul Rahman Ayoub is a 2nd year medical student at the University of Ottawa.


A Voyage to Vietnam

by Linh Do

In the hottest summer month, I found myself hopping up and down between the old pavement and the crowded road to avoid parked vehicles, chairs and tables of Hanoi’s street food vendors. These authentic, irresistible and sophisticated cuisines made my heartache whenever I was away. My newly changed cotton T-shirt smelled like Bun Cha (a Vietnamese vermicelli dish with barbecued meat) as it had picked up the aroma carried by the wind. The juicy golden brown meat sticks sizzled on pink charcoals, teasing their hungry awaiting costumers. Sweat ran down my temples, mixed with the dirt and the smoke released by the knitted traffic. In a small and quiet coffee shop, I ordered a papaya smoothie and let my mind slowly wander off the impatient honking and the noises of engines. After four years, Hanoi was still as kind, elegant and mysterious as ever with the timeworn architectures hidden under branches of ancient trees. I felt delighted to reconnect with my culture, and to speak my mother tongue once again. I was recharged. This experience reminded me of the value of one’s culture in the healing process. In the middle of a chaotic Hanoi, I discovered my inner peace.



Published on May 5th, 2016

About the photographer

LinhLinh Do is a 1st year medical student at the University of Ottawa who has developed a keen interest in identifying social determinants of health, and breaking down barriers that prevent vulnerable population from accessing healthcare. Linh also holds the position of Liaison to the H.E.A.L Blog.