After enduring weeks of unrelenting heat in the state of Punjab, I left my intern house with mixed feelings. The reality of my internship was unexpected but once I resolved to be flexible, it turned into a fantastic learning experience. As an international development student, it was especially interesting to experience and observe the challenges that grassroots NGOs face firsthand.
The gods permitted me to reflect on my internship experience for only mere moments. As I stepped out of the intern house, I spun around and celebrated the conclusion of the days of commuting 2 hours in search of an air-conditioned reprieve (also known as cafe coffee day) and the nearing cool climate of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. In the middle of this haze of thoughts, I managed to fall into the open gutter system. I screamed some expletives. I’m pretty sure all of the interns laughed hysterically at me.
After this minor mishap, I headed north with a friend. We snagged a flight instead of opting for a never ending bus ride. Our diets had been quite “organic” in our little village as we proudly subsisted off vegetables from our organic garden. Consequently, we went a little overboard in the airport. My friend and I each consumed a McDonald’s meal (don’t miss the Shake Shake fries if you end up in India!), 6 donuts each, and a plane meal. I ended up making up for the weight lost during the first 2 months of my internship in less than two weeks.