After putting off my packing until two days before our departure to India, I decided to procrastinate even further by flipping through my journal from my six month stay in India five years ago. My first visit to India and to a developing country, I fill pages describing the amazing food I was eating; the resulting stomach aches; the feeling of driving through Rajasthan to Jaisalmer and watching the sandstone structures emerge from the ground; the joy of working with a group of abandoned youth; and the frustration of working for a messy NGO.
Since, I have had the privilege of travelling and working in other parts of Asia and of completing a master’s degree in international education policy. Still, many of my fears are the same as they were five years ago – that I will miss my family and my partner and that I will not be able to deliver on the project that I am working on, while others are new – that I will not succeed in learning Hindi and that I will not have the resources that I expected when I signed up for the fellowship to do all of the things I have looked forward to doing for five years like taking dance and cooking classes.
I am excited to just get back to India, to see and smell what has stayed the same and what has changed. I am looking forward to meeting the other fellows and hearing what they will be doing for the year. I am incredibly excited to be working for The Akanksha Foundation because it is an organization that I know is doing amazing work to advance access to quality educational opportunities for marginalized students. I am also excited to be getting hands on experience in monitoring and evaluation of education programs.
Now to just conquer the packing…