Friday, August 22, 2014

Week 7: Lessons from India

In my last week, I'd like to reflect on all the lessons learned from India. It's interesting because I had been to Ghana last year and seen a lot of similar things, but they didn't hit home the same way India did. For example, the levels of sanitation in the Basti were really a concern for public health. It's understandable to see why many get sick in congested areas like this. Improper garbage disposal systems make it difficult for communities like this to stay healthy, and the close contact with stray animals and cattle also cause worry to the sanitation of the community.

Outside of health, I've really had a wonderful taste of the spirituality of India. No matter if one were Hindu, Muslims, or Buddhist, he or she lived a remarkably spiritual life dominated by this religion. One's name, language, and manner of dress were all affected by his or her religion, everyone's lives revolved around worship to one deity or another. They are lives of passion, culture, and devotion -- something I'm really blessed to be able to have seen. I'm so thankful to have seen the faith in the Basti during Ramadan, but also the faith of Buddhists and Hindus in the country.

For myself, I've also learned to be a more patient, understanding, forgiving, open-minded person. I've learned some Hindi Sanskrit and some very important Hindi words. I was blessed to be able to have worked with and interacted with many Indians, who gave me words of wisdom from Herbal treatments to tourist attractions to Hindi lessons. I can't believe I saw the Taj Mahal with my own eyes or donned Indian suits everyday. I can't believe I was able to bargain so well in the market or manage tuk-tuks, rickshas, trains, planes, and the metro the way I did. I'm more confident and I firmly know that I want to pursue Public Health and I can say exactly why. I was able to search through my own past and figure out where the passions started budding and now I've put my passions to work. Thank you India and thank you U of M!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you've had this experience and I'm looking forward to meeting with you again and reading your final report!