Seven months ago I remember saying to a fellow intern, “wow, time is going by so slow,” and he responded, “wait until you start working.” He was right. The past few months in Educare have flown by and it has been an amazing experience.
For someone like myself who didn’t join Educare as an internship requirement for university, my reasons for coming to India were a little different. I wanted to leave the regular 9 to 5 job in the States to go abroad to experience life like I never imagined, I wanted to utilize the skills that I have in an NGO helping a local community, and I wanted to learn more about life! I ended up learning so much and about everything – not only about Indian culture and life in India, but about cultures all around the world from my fellow interns, about the concept of objective selfishness and more about myself. As cheesy as it sounds, this experience was life changing.
The most significant change I found in myself is my patience. Patience is a word that was redefined for me while working in Educare and living in India. Internet is slow, ordering food at a restaurant normally can take over an hour, plans change last minute, everyone is late, the bus schedule in Maiti is random, the FRRO change their requirements on the spot, there are power outages constantly, vegetables have to be bought in the next village, flour- two villages over, the new intern you’ve been waiting for never arrives, COM meeting is in a village two hours commute away, you want something done and the answer you are given is “not possible today, come back tomorrow.” I can stay shockingly calm for much longer now.
Thinking about the past seven months, a few moments stand out as the happiest and there are a few that I would have to claim as my worst moments. All in random order…
- Going on the camel ride in the desert at the Coordinators Retreat in Khuri and playing games in the dunes the next day. Who knew Mathilde and I were evenly matched in strength (we tied in our wrestling match)
- Creating the superlatives for the June quarterlies and laughing until 2am with Elliott (whitest trash picker alive), Harmonie (swaggalicious swiss), Bruno (wannabe hippie), Whitney (most likely to tell you the office is her house and she almost pooed herself cleaning your mess), Remy (B’s favorite) and Johann (coolest geek)
- Dancing to “Lean On” on top of Triund with Harmonie, Dani, Shannon, Hellen, and Laura (music video coming soon)
- Making it to the top of the 5000m pass in Ladakh during my 3 day trek after an interminable trek uphill
- Laughing uncontrollably when Pooja, my favorite girl in Girls’ Club, points to the neighborhood dog and says “Lenty is my favorite bitch.”
- Discussing our dreams and crafting dream catchers in Girls’ Club with the craft supplies my friends in the US sent me
- Shamelessly eating countless chapattis for breakfast, lunch and dinner with Margaret in Maiti
- Riding with Elliott in the motorbike I bought and I never used again after falling from it at the beginning.
- Throwing up off the bus at 4am on the way back from Leh, praying nauseated and in fear that I would shit my pants at any moment (luckily I did not)
- Spilling liquids from both ends at the same time in Atul’s homestay during June quarterlies with no toilet paper and missing the gender circle. Definitely felt like I hit rock bottom at this point.
- Getting peed on by a rat in the kitchen TWICE. I almost died I was so disgusted.