My name is Jason Maccabee and I am leaving for India in two days and have not started packing.
Some quick facts about me:
-I grew up in Los Angeles
-I spent 5 months studying abroad in Australia earlier this year and was able to travel for 3 weeks through Nepal
-I love climbing, running, surfing and basically anything outdoors
As a rising senior studying Environmental Studies and Economics, I am extremely excited to work with CHIRAG to assist in the sustainable development of villages in the Himalayan region. CHIRAG is an NGO that works in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand to foster economic growth while also managing and protecting precious local resources. So this is basically a match made in heaven for my field of study….
Another reason for my decision to spend the summer in India, is the opportunity to collect data for my Environmental Studies senior thesis. My project proposal as of now revolves around energy usage in the region and how it affects local sustainable agriculture. However, I know that I need to be flexible when I get to India, or else I will drive myself crazy. So much can change and I need to figure out what is possible/available to me. It will definitely be interesting to look back on this first blog post in a couple weeks and realize how much my project or aspirations have changed (or hopefully not!).
On a personal level, I got my first taste of South Asia in December when I was in Nepal. I have always been drawn to mountainous regions, and am passionate about preserving their mind numbing beauty and vital resources. Also, the general culture, people and aura of the country were truly unbelievable. I decided on the flight back to the United States that I had to spend more time understanding the Indian Subcontinent and interacting first-hand with the people. BOOM, another example of why I am a perfect match for this CASI internship. You would think this blog post was an OCR interview.
I leave for India in two days, and oh what a journey it will be. A flight to start off from Los Angeles -> London, a couple hours of layover, London -> Delhi, two day breather, overnight train ride, 5 hour bus ride further into the mountains where we finally arrive at the CHIRAG headquarters where I will be staying for the next 2.5 months. This type of adventure and trip gives me goosebumps (good kind) and I am so excited to embark with my fellow CHIRAG interns. You should also check out their blog posts on this website.
Some questions I am looking to answer during this summer include what do I want to do with my life after college? What do I take for granted on a daily basis? What kind of things will I learn that can just never be taught in a classroom? What kind of tangible change can I help make in the region? How am I going to handle India when it is hotter than the face of the sun in a magma steam room? Etc.
So this is my first time blogging, if you couldn’t tell. I am not quite sure how I am coming across right now in this post, but in general I couldn’t be more excited to work with CHIRAG and delve into this once in a lifetime experience. I plan to make the most out of it.
Oh and also, I just got a new camera so my future posts will include pictures. So there is definitely an incentive to keep reading this through the summer, as I will be posting every week or two.
Thanks for reading. I think I should start packing/organizing now.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
― Lao Tzu
P.S this is what I look like: