I’m on my way.
Sitting within the polished confines of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport’s relatively new Terminal 3. Typing this out on my Apple 15″ MacBook Pro. Connected to the internet via a Bluetooth tether to my Google Nexus 4’s Airtel 3G internet connection.
Am I using this blog post to plug specific brands? No. Then am I using it to flaunt my gadgetry? Most certainly not. To be honest, it’s a confessional of sorts. An explicit admission of my upper-middle-classness.
Why? Because this summer, above all, was humbling. Working with visually impaired students was humbling. Being at the mercy of Bangalore’s public transit system was humbling. Fighting for a few KBps worth of bandwidth was humbling.
Normally I wouldn’t think twice about these things. But the combination of the purpose of my visit and these conditions being the norm rather than the exception sure contributed to me realizing just how much I take for granted in life, be it my vision or my technology.
Speaking of technology, I am happy to report that Mathru School for the Blind is now in possession of 2 functional Stand Alone Braille Tutors, which will hopefully eventually be used to supplement in-class instruction. I truly hope that the cumulative work of this summer’s interns as well as people before us shows results soon.
As I delve through 9 weeks’ worth of memories, there are a few lessons learnt that stand out prominently. I won’t bother going into them in detail, because I’d just be repeating myself.
What I can tell you is that I’m leaving India with a profound sense of satisfaction. It’s a curious cocktail of job satisfaction, travel happiness and inner peace. I could not have asked for a better team, more fulfilling projects or more engaging research partner.
I take away from this internship a summer’s worth of experience in field research à la ICTD, memories of several trips around the Indian peninsula with my teammates, but most important of all, relationships with the students and teachers at Mathru that will hopefully last beyond this summer.
I can also confirm the nagging suspicion I had at the beginning of this internship. That iSTEP 2013 would start an itch in me that may not necessarily go away in the immediate future. A hunger to find more opportunities to apply ECE to some more real world problems such as the ones faced by students and teachers at Mathru.
I’m on my way.