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Last few days…

Posted in 2008 Summer Public Service Program by kashmircorps on July 11, 2008

The past two weeks have been an absolute rollercoaster. As mentioned in the previous posts, the political situation became a bit unstable because of the issue of the land transfer, and the volunteers left for Delhi. It was so frustrating being at home for over a week, and not being able to go out and get any work done. It really made me realize how difficult doing development work here can be–especially because it is inevitably linked to the political situation.

I was a bit broken-hearted when everyone had to leave in such a rush, but was glad that they were able to see different parts of India–especially the Taj Mahal, which I myself haven’t been to. I was mostly upset that we had gotten such a good start on all of the projects and just when we were really getting a hang of things and moving forward, everything was disrupted.

After a few days, the strikes ended and the land transfer order was revoked. One day the streets were empty, schools were closed, businesses were shut down…and the next day, traffic was back to its original madness, kids who were looking forward to a longer “vacation” from school were back in classes, and I was in total shock that things could go back to “normal” just like that.

Near the end of last week I got the good news that four of the interns were returning to finish up their projects! (Well, everyone tried to hide from me that Hiba was back but the driver blew her cover). I’m really amazed by their bravery and their committment to their work. So, since then they’ve been back at work. Arif and Amin visited the maternity hospital again, in addition to the Children’s Hospital. They were able to interview a few of the doctors to get a better idea of the needs of the hospital. Throughout the year, we’re mainly planning on figuring out ways to send specific medical equipment donated from the states to these two hospitals. I’m glad that now we have some local contacts who can better guide us as we move forward.

I’m here until Wednesday, mainly trying to tie up some things. I think we have a lot of material now for how to develop this organization further and figure out specific ways in which we can be of more assistance as students from the states. It is going to be challenging, as the past six weeks have proven. Personally, being here this summer has strengthened my resolve to continue to work towards the betterment of the people. I was very lucky to have such a great team on the ground—they had to deal with quite a bit of stress so many times, but dealt with everything remarkably well. I hope they learned a lot from this experience and am looking forward to working with them throughout the year.

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One Response

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  1. Abed said, on July 12, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    wow, rollercoaster sounds right.

    id love to hear about the events of July 13.


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