My name is Marta, I have been doing an internship in FSL-India Kundapur for 6 months and I will try to “put in paper” my experience all over this time. The project I work for is SAP-K, based in FSL training centre in Shetrakatte, rural area on the Southeast coast on India. SAP-K stands for Sustainable Agriculture Project- Kundapur and its main idea is to evolve a model of sustainable agriculture for a sustainable livelihood. We visit farmers who already carry out organic farming, we learn from them, put it into practice in our training centre and next step is to share this knowledge with the local community so, the beautiful thing is that, when volunteers or interns leave, the knowledge stays with the children, farmers or local community we have been working with.
This project has helped me to learn to appreciate even the smallest progress, take pride on the small improvements and to know how hard it is sometimes to raise awareness among community members. Before coming to India I had many fears about my performance at work and Indian culture, people and food among others. Nowadays, all my fears are gone. Thanks to my coordinator and team’s support, I feel really confident at work, Indian people and culture are lovely and food is incredibly tasty and safe!
I love spending my free time with local people and this EVS placement has given me the chance to experience what I call “the deep Indian experience”. People here (from colleagues to local people) have opened me their houses and welcomed me as one member more of their family, they have let me take part in very important moments of their family lives and they have highly supported me since the first day. Indian people are a really caring and lovely community.
I must say my experience in India has made me grow not only professionally but also emotionally given all the challenges you have to face in this country coming from Europe. You have to get used to new clothes, food flavours, weather (from extreme heat to monsoon storms), power cuts, way of expressing your feelings, attitude towards work and life in general, people looking at you as if you came from the outer space…
I must say if I already considered myself to be low judgmental before coming to India, I am even less nowadays as this country makes you realize that your approach to EVERYTHING IN LIFE (work, religion, food habits, clothing) might be different but not better or worse to others and you are nobody to impose your point of
view to others’ ones.
India is a country of colours, smells, contrasts, smiles, crazy long travel distances, amazing landscapes and sunsets
but, if there is something I will really miss back home, will be its people: locals, colleagues and all those people who have made my experience something amazingly different. Overall, my Indian experience has been so positive, rewarding and fruitful that, however I should go back home beginning of December, I will try to go back later because I do not exactly what it is but this country has something that does not let me go…