Posting by Allie Medford
Two weeks have passed since we embarked on our journey halfway across the world. As a group, we have experienced the initial culture shock of chaotic traffic, spicy curries, and what we lovingly refer to as "the bobble head." It seems that after we have finally gained some ground, feeling comfortable with both our surrounding culture and ourselves within it, we are preparing for the end of our trip. Tomorrow is the termination of our internships; the culmination of an exciting and challenging week of doing our best to expose small Indian populations to the world of art therapy. Our goals have waxed and waned as we realized that our role was so much more concentrated than "bringing art therapy to India" as we had all originally imagined. My thoughts each day are now consumed with the things I will miss about India: the smiling faces, the simultaneously sweet and sour smells of the street, the exhilarating autorickshaw rides that take me on thrill rides while completing everyday tasks. I wonder how much of myself will stay here. Here, the clock runs on India Time and rides around town cost less than a dollar. Still, the luxuries I thought I could never live without back in the states seem so trivial to the real things people need to survive in the world. I hope to bring back with me the compassion and respect for other people and cultures that I have gained here, both from my internship, as well as from my peers. I hope that, when I return home, I will feel the same sense of possibility every morning and find a really good Indian restaurant that makes masala dosa as well as our apartment staff do. I hope one day to return to India, to revisit the places I have come to know so well in such a short time, and see if the small impact we made here- the murals we left behind, the people we touched, the approach to art we offered to everyone who would listen- have taken root and blossomed into promising outlets for people in need.