India has always both fascinated and intimidated me. What has lingered in my imagination is a blend of bright colors, warmth, struggles, spices, and the sheer humanity of it all — for better or worse.
When I first discovered that PSU offered a study abroad program there, I was immediately sold. I didn’t really know what social enterprise was apart from a loose assumption involving doing something for the public good. However, in reading a bit more, I was also drawn to the practical element of being able to work with villagers and learn out in the field.
In thinking about the program as of late, I am excited to nurture some “do-gooder” tendencies that I feel I’ve been neglecting. And the more I learn about social enterprise, the more excited I am to be in this program beyond just its setting.
Although challenges are often rampant on international trips, particularly in developing countries, the rewards are indescribable. Indeed, I feel the most human when I travel. That being said, I realize that none of my past experiences can completely prepare me for the unique nature of challenges which India will present – namely, the poverty, the squalor, and the blatant disparity among classes. I have tried to educate myself through reading and stockpiling secondhand accounts from friends. On an unrelated note, about one-third of my pack has been dedicated to my attempt to stay physically healthy. Evidently, these illustrate a desire to know what I’m in for. However, I realize that I should mentally prepare myself for the fact that SO much will be out of my control. Keeping a positive, humble attitude as well as a sense of humor will be key. Above this goal is to tread lightly, be respectful, and always bear in mind that I am a firm believer in human interconnectedness.