Last week at Samaj Pragati Sahayog

It is officially the last week of our internship with Samaj Pragati Sahayog in Bagli area of Madhya Pradesh. I'll be honest, in the first few weeks during the intense heat – it felt like this internship would last forever. However, now that only 5 days remain – I can't not believe it's almost over.

The turning point was around week 5. We seemed to hit a certain comfort level with the area, with the projects and most importantly with the people. And in turn the people seemed to hit their comfort level with us. We developed some amazing friendships, had some great times and now have several new facebook friends. That is what I am going to miss the most. The amazingly dedicated people who work for SPS that took the time to befriend us over the past 7 weeks, took the time to make us feel welcome, and took the time to arrange their schedules and work to accommodate our internship. We have spent many evenings joking around in the mess hall after dinner, went on a few adventurous roadtrips, watched movies together, and just bonded over our differences and sameness. But thanks to facebook and email we will hopefully keep in touch and see everyone again soon.

Another amazing thing that occurred over the past 7 weeks is the transformation in the scenery. As you may recall from my earlier blog posts about this area is called the Drylands. When we arrived in May – it was completely dry and dusty landscape – almost barren. With the monsoon, everything has beautifully transformed to lush greenery. It is unbelievable to think that this is the same place. Even though the heat was extreme in May, I am so glad I came then otherwise I wouldn't have understood the extent of the dryness/lack of water and how much influence the monsoons has on the local economy.

The last few days will be tying up loose ends – finishing up my project, paying the bills, meeting with our visiting Penn coordinator Aparna for a special project, and saying sad goodbyes to everyone.
Next on the itinerary is Mumbai for a week and then London for a few days. It'll be interesting to see how I acclimate to city life after so long in rural India.

Attached are 3 pictures – one of the greenery and low lying rain clouds on our campus, one of our neighbor Pooja dancing in the rain, and one of the fabulous Mehndi that Pooja did on my hand.

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