Back to My Reality
Noted on May 1, 2012 by IE3 Student in
Written by Adaora Nkwonta: University of Oregon student interning with Child Family Health International (CFHI) in India.
As my time in India drew closer to an end I never really thought about what it would be like returning to the states. I just assumed that I would return to my daily activities and look back at India as a wonderful experience in my life. Man, was I mistaken. I found myself making all sorts of mistakes. I would constantly respond to questions in Hindi or Marathi. I’d also forget to put on my seat belt when I got into cars because in India many of the cars didn’t have seat belts. When I went to clothing stores I even tried to bargain with the sales assistance. I even caught myself doing the “Indian head bobble” (a common head shaking gesture) at times. I also had some problems adjusting back to the types of foods I used to eat such as fast food or anything with excessive oil; which I found to be really strange because I didn’t have problems adjusting to food while I was in India.
Besides from the personal adjustments I had to make I also found that I had difficulty adjusting back to a classroom set learning environment. In India the knowledge that I gained went hand in hand with the clinical use. Everything that I learned about I got to physically experience it. While back here in the states it more about learning through text books and taking exams.
But now, as I look back I find that all the re-integration that I had to do doesn’t really matter because I was given an amazing opportunity. I was given the chance to experience things that I might not have been able to experience here in the states; like going on a rural health camp visit or learning about how traditional medicine such as acupuncture or homeopathy really does have a significant impact on lives. My passion for pursuing a career in pediatrics was also deepened after seeing how dedicated the physicians were to their patients despite their lack of resources. Thus, if given the choice again, I would definitely re-integrate myself if it meant being able to experience all of what India had to offer.