[Originally posted on May 18, 2015. I apologize for the confusion — I had these blog posts recorded on my personal blog, which was not connected to the CASI one.]
Shirts. Check. Shampoo. Check. Probably not enough socks. Check. That little bit of nervousness you would get when you saw your high school crush. Check. And an overwhelming sense of excitement. Check
Hi, everyone! My name is Kevin Park and I am currently a rising Wharton junior (Class of 2017), concentrating in Finance, Strategic Management, and Social Impact and Responsibility. This summer, I have the pleasure of working in Bangalore, India, with the Jana Foundation and Janalakshmi Financial Services on projects related to microfinance, urban development, and economic empowerment. I don’t even know where to begin in terms of what to expect during the next eleven weeks. Normally, I’d be put off by the idea of having to sit in a seat for fourteen hours, but it’s been a while since I’ve been on a plane, especially one that’s crossing a few continents. So all’s forgiven. I can’t wait for all of the new sights, smells, sounds, and tastes (apparently India is very heavy on the senses), and I’m super thrilled about all of the traveling we get to do. I’m hoping we venture outside city borders and visit rainforests and other non-urban regions. Oh, and ride an elephant — that’d be dope.
What I’m a little unsure about is how real the culture shock will be. As someone who was born and grew up in the States, it’s difficult to paint a visual image about how different our worlds are, despite all of the available texts and pictures. Several people have asked me why I chose to go to India, but that’s in fact the reason why I wanted to go. I’m a large proponent of trying new things and breaking past comfort zones. So what better way to explore unfamiliar areas than to live across the world for a two and a half months? In addition, India is the birthplace of microfinance, so it would be absolutely fascinating to see what kind of economic and social landscape the country possesses and the progress it has made. Moreover, this kind of exposure would help me understand how the realm of social impact can continue to develop and to help the world advance.
Thus I would like to extend a big “thank you” to those who are taking the time to read these posts. I am really glad to be able to share these new experiences, and I hope to make the next several tidbits as enjoyable and exciting as possible. I promise to include pictures in the future ones. Friends, let me know if you would like something from India, and I’ll try my best to bring as many cool objects as possible. To those that have visited India before, any suggestions and recommendations are welcome.
And with that, I’m off — wish me luck!