Monday, April 15, 2013

Back to Real Life

Its hard to believe that its finally here: the very last week of our internship with Maitri.  3 1/2 months have gone by so fast and we have learned so much.  To recap, here are a few of the fantastic experiences we have had working as interns.  

  • Serving the midday meal and distributing sarees to the Widows in Vrindavan
  • Learning to sew with Project Maitrigram
  • Health camps with the Homeless Resource Centre
  • Visiting and touring Indian Parliament
  • Practicing english and math with the kids in the Children’s Tutorial Centre
  • Attending events such as One Billion Rising, to raise awareness about violence against women.
  • Participating in Bhoomi Pooja to initiate Maitri’s new land in Vrindavan
  • Helping with planning and organization of Maitri’s National Seminar entitled: A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women
  • The launch of the “Count on Me Pledge: Maitri’s campaign to end violence against women.”
  • Getting our HIV test at Maitri’s Integrated Counseling and Testing Center. 

We are certainly sad to be ending this chapter of our Indian experience.  Working with Maitri has truly exposed us to many of the issues faced by India today.  With it, we have gained, not only a better understanding of challenges, but a love for the country we have been so fortunate to get to know.  

The effects of India cannot easily be explained.  Until we experienced it, we had no true understanding of its energy, its people or the lifestyle we would be entering.  I think I speak for both of us when I say that we were in no way prepared for how much it would change us.  India and Maitri have provided us with the tools to achieve a higher level of understanding of our own priorities, our strengths, but most importantly, our flaws.  Living here we have accessed and acknowledged them, and tried, actively to let ourselves grow.  India is a self discovery safe zone, emerging from which, will be one of the greatest challenges we have yet to face. 

With 3 weeks to experience India as tourists before returning home, we hope to make a smooth transition back to real life in Salt Lake City.  Thank you Maitri, for the opportunities.  You have certainly given more to us than we could ever give to you.  The people from this organization will stay close to our hearts for the rest of our lives and we hope the same goes for you. 

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