Academically, I was able to actively compare my experience in India to similarities I found in stratification when I went back home to Egypt. This was especially prominent in the conversations I had with my friends in Egypt after the trip and tying together the cross cultural similarities between the stratification in both countries and how that impacts one’s vulnerability to certain situations. I was even able to take it a step further and compare social standards influence on vulnerabilities to the unique landscape of stratification in America, where classes are not as physically and socially separated as in the other two countries. It was a very interesting thing to be able to witness as I moved throughout my summer from country to country.
Professionally, I developed the ability to change my writing style to that of reports already existing, and I was able to partake in observational reports for the NGO. It was really cool working with their deadlines and taking what I was seeing and doing in the field and detailing it into a professional annual report. It was a large responsibility, and giving me such tasks from the very start was a great experience that allowed me to grow professionally and also aid the organization in a key project.
Personally, It was such a joy to build such a close relationship with my Airbnb hosts as well as the people I was working with. The pure kindness I was met with in India was such a heart-warming experience. I was also able to build such unique relationships with those around me and grow from them. Even the smallest of interactions, like the gate keeper waving to me every time i’m walking back home are all things I continue to miss. I am still in contact with many of the people I met, and many are expecting me to come back soon. Hopefully I will be able to! I really wanted to be able to travel within India, but i didn’t have time, but this, along with the relationships I built, gives me a sure enough reason to come back.