Where I consider home:
Bristol, Connecticut [or as I tell locals who are unaware of American geography: “some place close enough to New York City and the hometown of America’s biggest sports network, ESPN”]
My current occupation:
Lifelong learner! I just finished up a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Kolkata, India, and will apply to graduate programs in the near future.
Words on paper, stories on lips, smiles on faces, coffee in mugs.
What I would do if I had the day off:
As a “water baby” since childhood, I would stick to what my favorite idiom [kind of] says: “Go beach or go home.”
My favorite ‘bad’ food:
Ice cream – any flavor except strawberry.
Why I am going to Wayanad, India:
The state of Kerala has been upheld as the standard for development and progress in India. It has the highest literacy rate of any state in the country, and is doing well by most indicators. However, despite Kerala’s status, people, groups, and communities still slip between the cracks and the standard of living is not up to par for everyone everywhere. A chance to work within one of these rural communities is an opportunity I could not pass up.
How I hope to grow during my time in India:
I hope to learn to make one or two really good South Indian dishes, especially anything involving coconut. More than that, though, I aspire to really connect with some of the people of the village and surrounding area, despite the language barrier. Also, knowing that things – from the weather to people’s schedules to bus availability – are subject to frequent change in India, I also hope to work on further developing patience.
My fears surrounding my service in India:
I fear getting sick of rice. I know it’s a staple of the area, but there is such thing as “too much of a good thing.” Also, I am anxious to adequately fill the shoes of my fellow Field Fellow predecessors, who left such a big imprint on the heart of the community we work with!
The three things that I must bring to India are:
A journal, a solid pair of monsoon sandals, and the life-saving Pepto Bismol
If I could have an Indian name, it would be:
The Sanskrit word “Rita,” primarily because it is already the nickname I use when travelling if people cannot understand my name. It was born of a particularly confusing phone conversation while ordering take-out food in Kolkata, India. Luckily, I like its meaning as well: “truth,” or “order” (as in, the natural physical and moral order that governs the universe and all in it).
My message to potential donors:
What you see, and more, is what you get when you donate to Profugo. The money you donate directly helps fund the programs we start, maintain, and improve upon as part of our day-to-day work in and with this community. To help fund a Profugo initiative is to empower our brothers and sisters in Wayanad in a variety of ways, so that we all will have an opportunity to be a members of “a global neighborhood for a better quality of life.”