Mosqoy 

1004 North Park

Victoria, BC

V8T 1C6

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Mosqoy 

Ayni Center

Jr. Jose Maria Arguedas, J 13,

Urbanización Santa Mónica

Cusco, Perú

Our main website photo, at the top of this page, was taken by Ashli Akins. 

OUR TEAM

 

STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

Cusi Saco Chung

Mosqoy Peruvian Textiles Manager

Cusco, Peru

Her parents gave her a Quechua name, which means “joy”, creating her first true connection with Quechua Culture. Cusi grew up in Cusco, and after school she moved to Lima where she graduated from business school. Nevertheless, her passion was fashion. Her entrepreneurial spirit has allowed her to implement the first fashion start-up in young executive fashion, which she ran in Lima for four years. In 2015, she received a scholarship and moved to Spain to specialize in Fashion Management at IED Barcelona. This Master’s degree helped her to gain more knowledge about the fashion industry and introduced her to new movements in sustainable fashion.


After a great experience in Barcelona, Cusi decided to come back to Peru with a clear goal: build a better and stronger textile fashion industry, helping entrepreneurs to add value to their products. This is the reason why, after working two years with a Peruvian textile enterprise, she decided to move back to Cusco and start her work with Mosqoy. She fell in love with Mosqoy’s projects and was drawn to the opportunity of working with Quechua communities, providing better opportunities to weavers, and working together on improving and selling their beautiful textiles and products. In her free time, Cusi enjoys walking through the streets discovering colours, textures, and trends. She also loves to travel and recently found a likeness to decorating spaces.

Carmen Trigoso

Lima Sales Facilitator 

Lima, Peru

Carmen fell in love with nonprofit organizations when she was attending high school in Peru. She developed a deep passion for charitable work and organized programs at her school that aimed to provide equal opportunities for women. When she was 16 years old she received a scholarship and moved to the U.S. to attend college in Iowa. Carmen gained experience as a manager at Forever 21, which encouraged her to open her own retail store upon her return to Peru. She recently found in Mosqoy a true inspiration and is excited to contribute to Mosqoy’s vision. Currently she builds and maintains relationships with partner retail outlets in Lima and manages the online Etsy store (her favorite part of her job!). Carmen is also a digital geek and certified data analyst; in her free time she mentors young women who are entering the tech industry.

Silvia Huanaco Surco

Textile Community Facilitator

Cusco, Peru

Silvia is from the community of Huayllabamba, in the Machupicchu district of the Cusco region. Her community is a 4 hour hike from the nearest road and lies on the Inca Trail. She is 20 years old and through the T’ikary Youth Program, is currently studying Hotel Administration at the Khipu Institute in Cusco. Silvia is the Q’ente Textile Program’s community liaison for the communities of Parobamba and Pitukiska, in the Mapacho River Valley. She enjoys visiting the communities, translating between Quechua and Spanish, and working with the weavers to help them improve their textiles. In her free time, Silvia likes to read stories, cook, keep the house tidy and play football.

Beth Delaplain (née Luque Huanca)

Mosqoy Peruvian Textile Fellow

Cusco, Peru

Originally from Cusco, Beth grew up in the United States with her adoptive family. In 2011, after years of hoping to travel to Peru, she embarked on a journey to find her birth family. Against all odds, she found them, and they welcomed her with open-arms and taught her about her indigenous ancestry. Since then, Beth has not only immersed herself in Peruvian culture, but has researched both Peruvian material culture (primarily textiles) and intangible cultural heritage. This eventually led her to the University of Oxford, where she received a master’s degree in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology in 2018. Her passion for Peruvian textiles and the textile revitalization movement has led her to Mosqoy, where she plans to work with the weaving communities to help secure better opportunities for the artisans and their families. Her main goal is to ensure that the next generation continues to take pride in their traditions by bringing value and prestige to the art of weaving within Quechua communities. In her free time, Beth likes to explore new places, cook (and eat), and spend time with her family.

Alicia Cristina Gallardo

Translator Coordinator

New York, USA

Alicia Cristina was born and raised in Peru and is now living and exploring the city of New York as she attends NYU’s School of Professional Studies. Alicia also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Political Sciences and a Master’s in International Relations, both earned at San Martin de Porres University in Lima, Peru. She is proud of her work as a human rights advocate, consultant, researcher, and translator for non- governmental organizations around the world. Open and warm-hearted, Alicia is always eager to work alongside organizations that uphold the same values as herself. Passionate about travel, films, theatre, museums, books, and history, Alicia wants to continue helping people and get closer to her Peruvian roots honouring her culture, legacy and history through her work as Mosqoy’s English-Spanish Translator.

Carly Eldstrom

Grant Coordinator

Victoria, Canada

Carly is a lifelong helper who is passionate about social justice and protecting the natural environment. She has worked as Mosqoy’s Grant Writer since March 2018. Carly is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and abides by their Code of Ethical Standards. She appreciates that Mosqoy will not compromise its values under any circumstances, and that all programs are truly driven by meaningful engagement with the Quechua people.

 

In her free time, Carly can be found getting her hands dirty in her gardens, practicing yoga, cycling around town, and soaking up sun on the beach. Carly is especially excited to be volunteering on RAVEN Trust’s Development Committee.

Levin Chamberlain

Grant Writer

Vancouver, Canada

Levin was born and raised in the southern interior rainforest of British Columbia. Before completing his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and History at the University of Victoria, his passion for indigenous rights and environmental justice propelled him to get involved with Mosqoy. After two internships in Victoria and Peru, Levin is truly grateful to still be working with Mosqoy, an organization that has deep connections to his values. The lovely and supportive community is now an integral part of his life goal to open a research station focusing on ecoforestry, permaculture design, and cultural revitalization in the traditional, unceded territory of the Secwépemc people. If you have troubles contacting him, he is most likely rock climbing, touring by bike, or studying plants in beautiful forests, all without cell service, so please do not call search and rescue… yet.

Veronika Krišandová

Development Assistant
Victoria, Canada

Veronika is a returning Canada Summer Jobs intern and a fourth-year Economics
student at the University of Victoria. She moved to Canada in 2015 from Slovakia. Her
favourite thing about living in Victoria is being near the ocean. Veronika learned about
Mosqoy during her time at UVic and has been a part of the team since 2018. Having
worked with groups such as the JDRF and UVic’s Annual Giving, Veronika believes this
internship is a great opportunity for her to use her experience working for non-profit
organizations and to continue learning more about Mosqoy’s mission and values. She
believes that Mosqoy is the perfect place to engage in meaningful and intersectional
work that will make a difference in people’s lives. A lot of social injustice in this world is
connected and Mosqoy is tackling it from all sides. Veronika loves to cook and read, and
in her free time she enjoys hiking or working on some cross-stitching at home.

Kate Korte

Marketing Coordinator
Victoria, Canada

Kate is in the final year of her undergraduate degree in Political Science at the
University of Victoria. She is curious about the social complexities of our time and
has taken interest in feminism, immigration, and social media during her studies.
Before she came to Victoria, Kate spent six months studying abroad at the University
of Essex.


Her love for travel then took her to Thailand and Bali last year, where she saw some
of the negative impacts of unsustainable tourism firsthand. Although she has not yet
been to Peru, she was drawn to Mosqoy because she shares the organization’s
values and knows the importance of sustainable tourism practices. She strives to
continuously learn through engaging with the world around her and looks for
opportunities to make meaningful contributions to her local and global community.
In her spare time, Kate enjoys reading, jogging, and painting.

Justine Ethier

Education Facilitator
Victoria, Canada

Justine was born and raised in Victoria, B.C and is now attending the University of
Victoria as a student in third year. Her academic passions are in Indigenous Studies,
Spanish, and History throughout North and South America. Her travels to the
countries of Guatemala, Mexico, and Nicaragua led her to her passion of wanting to
master the Spanish language.


She started with Mosqoy in June 2019 as an intern. She was attracted to Mosqoy’s
passion for culture and community building, and her work as the Education
Facilitator allows her give back to the Victoria community and learn from the
communities Mosqoy works with in Peru. She believes that listening to others is the
key to building strong relations with people around the world and Mosqoy
encourages her to build these relationships. When she is not working or in school,
Justine loves to spend time with her family who also live in Victoria. She also loves
to travel, be outdoors, and meet new people.

Bethany Foot

Web Designer

Prince George, Canada

 Bethany first began working with Mosqoy in the summer of 2016 as the Q’ente Textile Intern. She continued on with Mosqoy over the school year as a volunteer, contributing to developing its new website until the summer of 2017 when she was hired again as the Field School Coordinator. Along with her Mosqoy work, Bethany is completing her bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, while also working toward a program certificate in NGO and Non-Profit Studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. As Bethany continues her journey she wishes to keep noticing the easily missed, finding beauty in each day, and growing with an artist’s heart.  

Hamid Zamani

Webmaster

Victoria, Canada

Hamid is a Health Informatics student at UVic, and he is currently working on his sixth degree. He started volunteering for Mosqoy in 2013. He finds volunteering and serving to be a great way to meet new people and give back to the community. In addition, Hamid finds freedom in serving others and not asking for anything in return. To him, this freedom acts as a way to break free of the consumerism society and self-serving culture that exist in Canada. Hamid believes in providing great free service to serve others that would bring about meaningful change. To fulfill a great dream one needs selfless workers to serve together.

Anastasiya Smolina

Graphic Designer

Novosibirsk, Russia

Anastasiya Smolina is a graphic designer, illustrator, and artist from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, Russia. An avid traveller, Anastasiya has visited over 20 countries, and worked in Novosibirsk, Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, and Amsterdam. She collects new experiences by way of learning foreign languages and new skills. She is interested in international professional and cultural exchange, as well as art, design, movies, literature, and snowboarding. 

Anastasiya has two years of work experience as a children's art teacher and almost six years as a graphic designer. She enjoys working with her hands, whether that be through painting, drawing, decorating, graphic design, or other forms of creative expression. 

As Mosqoy's Graphic Designer, she will be utilizing her work experience and expertise to help shed light on the life and stories of the people that Mosqoy works with in Peru. Peru has always been part of Anastasiya's travel dreams, with its picturesque and differing nature. Anastasiya enjoys learning about ancient traditions and wants to help revitalize these cultures in the Sacred Valley.

Robyn Traynor

Editor

Halifax, Canada

Robyn lives in Halifax, NS, where, if she could, she would eat oysters everyday. She likes running before the sun rises, experiencing new places through their local dining establishments, and reading. She reads everything. When she was little, she proudly announced to her mother that when she grew up, she wanted to "be a book". She is still working towards this sufficiently vague goal. Robyn recently took up stand-up paddleboarding after watching a short film of her favourite travel writer who paddle from Vancouver to Victoria simply because he could. She now spends most evenings gingerly paddling among the sailboats and cruise ships bobbing around the Halifax harbour.


Robyn currently works as a health research consultant where she facilitates collaboration between knowledge producers and knowledge users, bridging these two surprisingly distinct worlds to help them speak each others' language. In this light, she is excited to volunteer for Mosqoy, which itself is a truly inspirational example of community engagement. Robyn specifically brings an attention to detail, an appreciation for the written word, and a staunch respect for grammatical rules and formatting etiquette to her role as an editor with Mosqoy.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS CANADA

Ashli Akins

President

Vancouver, Canada | Cusco, Peru

Ashli Akins is a human rights advocate, artist, and social entrepreneur. When she was 21, she founded Mosqoy, after travelling to Central and South America during a year of solo backpacking. From 2006-2016, Ashli acted as Mosqoy’s Executive Director, and now advises the charity’s operations as President of its Board of Directors.

Ashli was honoured as one of Canada’s top five doctoral candidates to receive the competitive Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her PhD in interdisciplinary studies with the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, supervised by National Geographic explorer-in-residence Dr. Wade Davis (Anthropology) and Dr. Kai Chan (Resources and Environmental Sustainability), with committee members Dr. Mark Turin (First Nations & Indigenous Languages) and Dr. Nancy Turner (Environmental Studies). Her thesis allows her to work collaboratively alongside Mosqoy’s partnering textile communities. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Oxford with a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law; her thesis explored why the loss of culturally significant art is a human rights violation. She previously attended the University of Victoria, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, and Professional Writing. She was recently honoured as one of UVic’s top 50 alumni in history who have made a difference in the world.

Ashli uses photography and writing to educate about international human rights and environmental injustices. In 2008, she completed a photography internship with National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and has published and exhibited around the world. She has been labeled an adventure junkie at times. One of her latest adventures took her over the last Andean mountain into the cloud forest of the Amazon jungle, with nothing but a machete, a compass, and a map.

Kristina Zoller

Secretary

Calgary, Canada

Kristina Zoller holds a Master in International Relations from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Hispanic Studies from the University of Victoria. After working as Andean Youth Program Manager, she was elected to Mosqoy's Board of Directors. Her interest in sustainable and culturally responsible socio-economic development was sparked by an experience as an ESL instructor for under-represented and marginalized communities in Santiago, Chile, after graduating high school, and has continued throughout her post-secondary education and professional career. She currently works for another Indigenous rights education project in southern Chile in addition to supporting Mosqoy. She heard about Mosqoy through a friend several years ago, and continues to be inspired by the organization, its students and weavers, and volunteers.

Lisa Slager

Member-at-Large; Administrative Officer
Victoria, BC

Lisa is a recent honours graduate from the University of Victoria, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Sociology. It was here that she discovered her passion for activism, sustainability, and all things social. Her love for social connectedness motivated her to head a community-based interdisciplinary mapping project to highlight spaces that foster intergenerational relationships and sharing. Over the years she has learned a lot from her mentors, including what it means to hold oneself accountable to their actions at a local and global level. This active engagement in community opened her eyes – and heart – to the power of meaningful relationships that we have with others, the environment, and ourselves. Lisa believes she can learn a lot from Mosqoy’s values and community approaches. In her spare time Lisa enjoys being creative through calligraphy, ukulele, and watercolours.

Brent Akins

Member-at-Large, Bookkeeper

Broughton Archipelago, Canada

Brent is a textile weaver, and has built his own weaving studio in the Broughton Archipelago of British Columbia, where he resides with his three floor looms, his wife Marka, and their two dogs. His weavings draw their inspiration from early 19th-century coverlet patterns of North America. A portion of proceeds from the sales of his weavings are put towards Mosqoy’s mission to revitalize the textile tradition in the Cusco region of Peru.

Now retired as a professional violinist, Brent was a member of the St. Louis Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and performed as concertmaster for the CBC Radio Orchestra and as a guest concertmaster for the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Together, he and Marka founded and operated Earthnotes, a music school where their students performed recitals to raise awareness and funds for various environmental campaigns. They also formed the Vuillaume Duo, giving benefit recitals and releasing a CD of classical music to benefit the local cancer society.

Brent and Marka are now living out their second dream upon retiring as classical musicians, living off-the-grid, while sustaining themselves off the land and ocean.

Paloma Vasquez

Member-at-Large
Lima, Peru

Paloma is Member-at-Large for the Mosqoy Canada Board. She is a Peruvian communications and sustainability specialist, bird-watching enthusiast and around-the-clock foodie.


She holds a Communication for Development degree and a Corporate Social Responsibility specialization from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, as well as an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom.

 

Paloma’s interaction with rural communities in the Andes started in 2009 with her moving to Ayacucho in the south-east of Peru for work. There, she developed a passion for the Andean cosmovision, as well as for the beautiful landscapes unique to Peruvian topography. She feels deeply connected to Mosqoy’s vision and is committed to jointly steer the organization towards its long-term ideals.


You can find Paloma in Lima, working as Head of Innovation and focusing on human-centered design for the entertainment industry during the work week, and exploring the outdoors, cooking, reading and hanging out with Killa, her 10-year-old Schnauzer, over the weekend.

Laurissa Barnes-Roberts

Member-at-Large
Toronto, Canada

Laurissa is a socially-minded experience designer and entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada who has collaborated with a variety of organizations both locally and in the United States. She is a passionate, innovative, and endlessly curious individual with a specific interest in building inclusive experiences. It’s no surprise then that Laurissa is excited about her role with Mosqoy. As a Board Member, she brings her experience in marketing to the organization to advise on strategy and lead the marketing department. She looks forward to learning more about the organization and all the people involved.


And when she needs a break from her professional work, Laurissa turns to her second passion, Taekwon-Do, for a good workout and to clear her head. She is a black belt and competitor, and is very involved in her Taekwon-Do organization.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS PERU

Elvira Huaman Guerra

President

Ollantaytambo, Peru

Elvira is from the first cohort of Mosqoy students, from the community of Tanccac in the district of Ollantaytambo. She studied Hotel Administration and now she works for the company Inca Rail in Ollantaytambo, which operates trains to Machu Picchu. She previously worked as a service attendant, which she enjoyed because she could interact with the tourists, sharing experiences and learning about cultures. Now, she works in sales. In her free time she likes to play soccer. Sport is her passion, especially soccer.

Elvira was one of the student leaders in the first cohort, who co-founded Mosqoy’s values and formed the living environment of Casa Mosqoy, making it what it is today. After graduating, due to her academic excellence and volunteer service, she was selected as a Mosqoy Ambassador on a scholarship to attend the University of Victoria’s English Language Centre program for one semester. There, she learned English, lived with a homestay family, and shared about the Quechua culture and language with Canadian youth. She now is trilingual, and speaks Quechua, Spanish, and English.

Naywa Herrera Delgado

Vice-Presidenta

Huaran, Peru

Naywa is a long-time, dedicated Mosqoy supporter. She came to know Mosqoy through her mother, the late Frida Delgado, who was known as ‘Mama Frida’, an inspirational community member and Mosqoy volunteer. Naywa is fluent in Spanish and French, and proficient in Quechua and English. Naywa splits her time between her rural family farm in Huaran and Cusco city, where she works as an Official Tour Guide for French-language travel agencies. She also helps her sisters and father run her family’s guesthouse and organic farm, Casa Huaran.

Karina Jimenez Suma

Secretaria de Economia

Ollantaytambo, Peru

Karina is from the small village of Mandolista in the district of Ollantaytambo, Peru. She has three siblings. Her father, Julian, is a farmer and her mother, Tamasa, loves to be at home working for the family. Karina studied Hotel and Business Administration at the Khipu Institute in Cusco and she was part of Mosqoy’s fourth cohort of students. Currently, Karina is working for the hotel, Apu Lodge, in Ollantaytambo where she works both in the reception and as a manager of the restaurant. In her free time, she likes to make crafts through knitting or weaving, be at home with her family, and practice English. 

Adela Arenas de Del Alamo

Secretaria de Actas

Ollantaytambo, Peru

Adela is from Ollantaytambo, Peru, where she and her nine siblings have become influential community leaders. Multilingual in Spanish, Quechua, and English, she works as a Program Coordinator for the World Leadership School, which empowers young leaders by bringing learning out of the classroom and into the field. Additionally, she has volunteered with many NGOs, community projects, schools, and municipalities in the region, to support her fellow community members. One of Adela’s favourite holidays is Ollantaytambo’s Pentecostal festival, Fiesta Choquekillca, when her two adult children return home to celebrate with her and her husband in their extended family’s folkloric dance, Contradanza

Ashli Akins

Fiscal

Vancouver, Canada | Cusco, Peru

Ashli Akins is a human rights advocate, artist, and social entrepreneur. When she was 21, she founded Mosqoy, after travelling to Central and South America during a year of solo backpacking. From 2006-2016, Ashli acted as Mosqoy’s Executive Director, and now advises the charity’s operations as President of its Board of Directors.

Ashli was honoured as one of Canada’s top five doctoral candidates to receive the competitive Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her PhD in interdisciplinary studies with the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, supervised by National Geographic explorer-in-residence Dr. Wade Davis (Anthropology) and Dr. Kai Chan (Resources and Environmental Sustainability), with committee members Dr. Mark Turin (First Nations & Indigenous Languages) and Dr. Nancy Turner (Environmental Studies). Her thesis allows her to work collaboratively alongside Mosqoy’s partnering textile communities. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Oxford with a master’s degree in International Human Rights Law; her thesis explored why the loss of culturally significant art is a human rights violation. She previously attended the University of Victoria, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, and Professional Writing. She was recently honoured as one of UVic’s top 50 alumni in history who have made a difference in the world.

Ashli uses photography and writing to educate about international human rights and environmental injustices. In 2008, she completed a photography internship with National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and has published and exhibited around the world. She has been labeled an adventure junkie at times. One of her latest adventures took her over the last Andean mountain into the cloud forest of the Amazon jungle, with nothing but a machete, a compass, and a map.

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Translators

Gabriela Chacon

English to Spanish Translator
Cusco, Peru

Gabriela is a caring person with a love for volunteering and the ability to raise her voice to make change in her city. Gabriela first brought awareness to mental health issues in her community during a year-long internship at her local hospital. She is currently pursuing a masters in clinical psychology. Being able to share knowledge is what motivates Gabriela, whether it is teaching English in a classroom or self-love at the NGO, Yanapay, where she currently works. Gabriela is also an Amnesty International activist, raising awareness about human rights in her community and country. In her private practice of rational emotive therapy and gestalt psychotherapy, Gabriela offers free workshops for women who suffer from domestic violence by incorporating art techniques into her practice. Gabriela's passion for helping others has inspired her to work as a Spanish-English translator with Mosqoy, as she believes that the empowerment of women in her society is extremely necessary. In her spare time Gabriela loves travelling, learning, and eating.

Brittany Maugeri

English to Spanish Translator
Ann Arbor, USA

Brittany earned a PhD in History and Women’s Studies with a specialization in Latin American History from the University of Michigan in 2018.  Her research, studies, writing, and activist work focus on the relationship between education, human rights, history, trauma, and intergenerational transmission.  Her dissertation, “Children Lost, Children Found:  Literature, Education, and Memory in Transitional Argentina" (1982-2001) took up all of these themes.  She hopes that her work will help people to understand the importance of stories in cultural formation and the role that different people and groups play in highlighting or suppressing certain narratives. 

Brittany is a passionate educator, writer, and activist.  She has spent time in Brazil (doing language study) and Argentina (doing research) and has a deep love and respect for South American society and culture.  She taught classes at the University of Michigan for several years and has been an advocate for educational access and human rights.  She believes the compassion, conversation, and cultural sensitivity are essential to building meaningful connections between people.   

In her free time, Brittany loves reading (she has a weakness for Spanish-language historical romances), dancing, cooking, and sharing stories over a strong cup of coffee.  She recently moved from Philadelphia to California. Working with Mosqoy is a dream come true for Brittany, who is excited to join an organization that has built its activism around collaboration, sustainability, and cultural and historical contextualization.  

Antonio Sanchez

English to Spanish Translator 

Murcia, Spain

Antonio comes from Murcia, a charming city in southern Spain where he has lived during most of his life. After high school, Antonio lived in Dublin where he made up his mind about studying languages. Following his passion, he began studying foreign languages at the University of Murcia, which provided him with the opportunity to spend an entire year in France as an Erasmus student where he took his first translation courses. He finished his degree in 2017 and is currently focused on developing his translation skills through Mosqoy as English to Spanish Translator in order to pursue his dream of becoming a professional translator.


Antonio’s experience as a translator for the Indigenous youth-led organization Unlocking Silent Histories led him to search for an international experience with Mosqoy where he could make an impact in the world through the power of language and translation.


Other than an interest in languages, Antonio is also passionate about music and dancing, and enjoys playing team sports too. Antonio feels that engaging in these hobbies during his spare time help him be his best self throughout the day.