I hate goodbyes.

For the past two years now I haven’t spent more than 4 months at a time in the same location. I have been alternating between school in Pennsylvania, my co-op in West Virginia, study abroad in India, and now my internship in Alabama. Each time I move I have to say goodbye all over again and it sucks. I have been postponing this blog post for as long as possible because I didn’t want my experience in India to come to an end. I didn’t want to say goodbye, but I did.

My study abroad program was amazing.

I suppose I will start off by talking about one of our mentors, Shantanu. It’s kind of funny, even as I write his name I can’t help but smile. The second day after we arrived at the Hanifl Centre he took us on a small walk and on the way back there was a moment when I passed him and was at the front of the group. Soon after I dropped back and let him lead once again. I actually did the same exact thing early this week at work with my new mentor, Mauro. I am interning in the melt shop of a steel mill this summer. The work environment can be pretty dangerous at times but that didn’t stop me from passing my mentor and leading the way for a short amount of time. From my time in India, I have learned that I like to lead people. Even if the situation is new or challenging, I want to be out in front. Shantanu once said during the trek that “when the going gets tough, the motivated get going”.

One of my favorite topics we covered during this course was the Wilderness First Aid training. After learning how to survey the patient and several other topics, we even had the opportunity to learn CPR. Something bad could happen at any moment. From this experience I feel more confident in my abilities to handle a challenging situation where someone else is in pain. In addition to being able to help others, the topics we covered also help me understand my own body better. While on the trek there were times when I would begin to get headaches. Instead of taking some Tylenol, I would think about why I was having a headache in the first place. The reason was almost always that I wasn’t drinking enough water, so I would drink more water and the headache would eventually go away.

I hung a picture of our group visiting the Taj on my TV stand with a name tag I wore this week. If anyone where to look at the picture they would see a group of smiling faces. When I look at this picture my eyes will go over each individual, remembering the experiences I had with them. It makes me sad to say goodbye, but I am excited to see how this program will continue to affect me in the future.