It has been over two months since I wrapped up my internship in Mumbai with the Girls and Science Project. And yet, my students and I remain in contact over Whatsapp, sending the occasional app kaise ho? (how are you?) and a selfie to match. I have even been in touch with their parents, who have been inquiring about when I will be back in India. Not soon enough is always my answer.
I miss spending time with the kiddos. All three of the groups of kids I worked with brought me so much khushi (happiness). They were always eager to learn, and they soaked up every bit of the material handed to them like soft idli, a traditional South Indian breakfast–spongy and absorbent.
My internship in Mumbai opened my eyes to the difficulties of social work. Seeing Melita carefully balancing nearly a million tasks within the community at any given time, I noticed how she maintained relationships with other community leaders, working with them to accomplish her own goals while meeting the visions of church heads, principals, fellow social workers, the students’ parents… the list goes on. Social work. Man. It is not for the faint of heart.
I look forward to returning to India for a third go-around, especially now that my network in India has grown so much. I would love to visit my students again. I have a strong feeling that the relationships I made during my internship will last for more than a single summer.
Until next time, India!