Julie and Keena at SPS

It’s been a remarkable week meeting Sudeep, Julie, Keena, Laura and Abby in India. Visiting them at their project sites has let me see them charged, alive and committed to all that they have absorbed and taken on over the past few weeks.

As CASI summer internships come to a close, so begins the personal reflection. And I imagine it will continue into the fall semester, next year, and possibly onwards for a lifetime.

I feel quite fortunate I was able to visit Julie and Keena at SPS for a few days. And clearly I was just in time to watch the monsoon paint the landscape a lush shade of green. Julie and Keena have been hard at work all summer creating lasting relationships, building new friendships, and learning about the drylands of Madhya Pradesh, watershed development, Self Help Groups, women’s empowerment and many other stories you might have read about on the blog. But most impressive is how Julie and Keena have truly made SPS their home. 

I will write more about the mission and motivation behind SPS and the core team which has truly inspired me as well, but before more time passes, I thought I would post some photographs to share a sense of their summer, their internships, the people they have brought into their lives, and the landscape. The connections they have made over the summer months clearly go two ways, Julie and Keena will surely be missed.

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Flooded bridge with no way to cross over  

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Julie is prepared

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Watching the river rise

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Keena waiting it out

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River levels up 12 feet

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Kumbaya

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Julie and fabrics

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Istree

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Kumbaya clothing 

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Keena conducts an interview 

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Keena listening

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Smiling onlooker

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Flooded village road

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Keena in the village

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Keena speaks with women in the village

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Listening

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Brother-sister

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Julie listening

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Keena and women in the village

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Julie and Keena at Ghat Neeche

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Dinnertime

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Visiting a school

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Where to next

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Julie and Jyostna at a local SPS office

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Julie conducts and interview with Jyotsna

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Kumbaya manufacturing center

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Jyotsna in the lush green 

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Julie at home

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Keena waiting for a bus

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Aparna, Keena, and Julie

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About Aparna Wilder

Associate Director, CASI Student Programs and Outreach After graduating from Penn, Aparna spent six years living and working in India. She volunteered with Indicorps and started her own production house, global rickshaw, that makes short films in collaboration with NGOs and non-profit organizations. Aparna is a TED India Fellow and holds an MPA from Columbia University.