Tuesday, 15 July 2014

My life as an EduCARE intern

My life as an EduCARE intern could be compared to what I presume being a Celebrity Unicef ambassador would be like. Travels through striking lands. People taking photographs of you while you shop for food at a local market. People asking to take “ek photo” as you travel in touristy locations. In general you find your self the gaze of many stares. I can now relate to Selena Gomez and David Beckham in a way I would have never have expected, as I’m sure they draw equally if not more attention as they serve the global community.

Most importantly the greatest aspect of being an EduCARE intern is the opportunity to work with a unique Indian population. Currently I find myself working on a Maternal Health and Education initiative in migrant camps located in rural Punjab. My job title requires that I go into the migrant camps, hang out and talk with the residents and then try to determine how the organization can help them create a better quality of life. This week I am working on developing a Health and Sanitation workshop for adults in the camps which will teach the migrants on cross contamination processes of food and water. From there on out I will work on developing Maternal Health workshops.

As an EduCARE intern you have the unique opportunity to develop and implement programs in an exciting environment. Although this poses quite a challenge, demanding personal introspection and awareness, it is also an opportunity to live something many only dream about. Being an EduCARE intern provides you with the space to be “the change you wish to see in the world”. Along with that I have already met so many amazingly qualified interns, whom you get to experience India right alongside. Just last weekend I went to Amristar with two fellow interns. So far, travelling around India nurtures a more holistic perspective on just how diverse the Country can be.

If the work and the travel isn’t enough, as an aspiring anthropologist I live in a beyond ideal environment. First I have the pleasure of sharing a home, with 4 other interns, with a local couple, Ma Ji and Uncle Ji. This has really opened up a doorway to being a member of the community that I don’t think many foreigners get to experience. Ma Ji serves as grandmother in our home away from home, always keeping an eye out for us, and being their to help us if we have any problems. Along with this our house is nestled amongst a ton of trees which are home to multiple Rhesus Macaque Monkey troupes. At time these monkeys can be outrightly obnoxious, trying to steal our food and knocking our clothes of the clothes line, but it is still an incredible experience to be cohabiting with such lively primates!

Living in another country as an intern has served me an abundance of opportunities and experience I could have never imagined. From being a celebrity to living with monkeys to all that’s in between it is truly a wonderful experience. I look forward to seeing how the next few months will unfold.

- Alexandria McCall, USA
- Maternal health and education project manager, Punjab

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