Having never left the U.S. before, some say I dove head first into the deep end by traveling to India...Alone. I had no idea what to expect and admittedly had serious doubts as I sat on that plane, one month ago, traveling halfway around the world to a foreign country so dramatically different from anything I had ever known.
I can honestly say I learned more from this experience than I had planned. As I expected, I learned about the devastating animal situation in India. I learned about injuries. I learned how to treat wounds and splint legs. I learned how to be comfortable around large animals. I learned a different kind of medicine and how to work with minimal resources.
But not only did I gain a new perspective on the world of veterinary medicine, I gained a new perspective on the world in general. I learned about a new culture, language, religion and way of life. I learned new recipes and how to eat with my hands. I learned about Gypsies and Rajputs. I learned about the social and economic oppressions women face in rural India. I learned I take a lot for granted in my everyday life. I learned about patience. I learned about suffering. I learned about compassion.
Do I see myself moving to India? Probably not. Do I see myself coming back? Absolutely.
I'm glad I've been able to share my experiences with you all. To my parents who support me in so many ways, and to those who donated to help make this trip possible - I cannot thank you enough.