When I begin to look back at these past three months, I have changed and learned so much. I remember the night before moving to India I was lying in bed debating whether or not I made a good decision to move to India. I now feel like this country is my second home and Maitri is my second family. From my very first day at the office I was welcomed with open hands and warm hearts. I have made lifelong friends with individuals that I would have never met if I had decided against coming.
I was given the opportunity to help conduct research at Aashirwad, a senior home, as a representative for Maitri twice a week. Through this experience I met many influential people that I would have never come across. I also met other students that are my same age that were the facilitators for the research study. I never planned on seeing myself in a senior home in New Delhi, India, but the experience was absolutely worth it.
I was also able to help teach at Maitri’s project, Maitrigram, where I helped with teaching English to under served women and children. I am so glad that I was able to help with something that will better the lives of these individuals. All the students were so dedicated, even coming to class during the heat of the day in summer and paying close attention to the lessons prepared. I helped teach the conversational English class. These students surprised me with their knowledge and ability to read, write, and speak English very well. This project site seemed to amaze me every day that I was present due to the commitment and intelligence of these individuals.
The workers and volunteers at Maitri are making a difference daily to many lives, and I would really like to thank them for the experience I have had while in India. I have seen these individuals stay late tutoring students one on one who needed help with a particular subject to workers volunteering their own personal time on their day off to help promote the NGO and raise awareness about a particular project site.
Maitri has help prepare me for my life ahead. I have learned how to do many different types of office work and field work. This will help me why I prepare to enter the University of Utah’s College of Social Work in the spring of 2016. It will also help me when I graduate and enter the social work field and begin my career. I have also learned life lessons while being in India and as a part of Maitri. I have learned things here in India that I truly do not believe I could have found anywhere else in the world. This country has shaped me into what I believe is a better person. Though there were days that I wanted to be back in Utah, but I would definitely never take back this experience I have had over the past three months.
I would personally like to thank Maitri for all the things they are doing for the Indian people and the world. I would also like to thank them for letting me be a part of their family and supporting me in the work I was able to help with while I was here. I am going to miss this organization and all the friends I made.
University of Utah