Today was amazing. All eight of us had decided to take one last big trip together to a place called Hampi. We woke up at 7 am to a bus driver telling us we were there. We had taken an overnight sleeper bus and had finally reached the ruins in Hampi. After breakfast, we started exploring the ruined temples and village. Aditya, Madeleine, and I climbed halfway up a small, rock-covered mountain to find a river in the distance. After admiring the fantastic view, we decided to hike our way to this river. After some time, we got really close and could hear the river flowing by but could not yet see it. There was a temple in front of us that was blocking the path. If we were willing to crawl through the rocks, maybe we could keep on our journey to the river. We heard laughter coming from the other side so we decided to take a leap of faith and go for it. When I reached the other side, I lifted my head to see a gorgeous river and learned that the laughter was coming from SL, Poornima, and Aveed. We wanted to take the circular boat down the river that we had saw earlier. While waiting for Maddie and Vivek to take the boat ride, the six of us looked into the distance down the river. This sight was breathtakingly incredible, and it was hard to believe this was a civilization around 1300 CE and still so beautiful. I started reflecting.
These past 7 weeks have been breathtaking. The Mathru School is such a beautiful sight. Being on the Needs Assessment team means that my time is split between working on my computer and interacting with the students and teachers for user testing, interviews, and observations. When I get the chance to see the blind students at Mathru Blind School learning in the classrooms, it is a motivating and beautiful sight. When I go to Mathru’s second center for the hearing impaired and multi-sensory disabled, I am just awed by how amazing the Mathru School is and how much it is helping its students. Even on days when I am glued to my computer transcribing notes or analyzing data, I can see the students after their school day playing outside. There is even a partially sighted student that waves every time she sees us.
It’s an amazing feeling when you get to observe students using the Braille Writing Tutor, the technology that I helped improve. All the hard work I do every day directly affects the students who use this device. And when I see the student use it, learn from it, and have fun with it, I feel like what I do really has meaning.
As I gazed down the river to more of the Hampi ruins, I got a similar feeling. I was observing the natural wonders of years of human interaction with the earth. It was a view to see and one that I’ll remember for a lifetime just as I’ll remember my amazing time a Mathru for a lifetime.