My International Practicum Experience - Week 6
July 10, 2019 | 1:00 PM
Colton Pettyjohn '19, Social Work Major
This past week in Ahmedabad was spent working with the vocational team which includes students with varying disabilities. The students make different items to sell in the store here at my placement and fulfill orders for different companies. Since most of them were deaf or knew sign language, I had an amazing experience being able to communicate with many of the students. I also helped them cut paper to make paper bowls which are used around campus as well as putting together two big orders of canvas type pencil bags. During one of these days, I had a mishap with the bags. Since one of the colors of the bags is bright blue, the combination of freshly dyed bags, India's humidity and heat, and my sweat, caused the bags to dye my hands blue. So, for about three days, I had to walk around with blue hands, but I won’t forget how it made everyone laugh.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about when the time comes for me to leave India. It’s approaching quickly and I’m not ready for it. I look back at all that I’ve seen, everything I’ve had the privilege to help with, and all the people that have made a difference in my life. I’m realizing how hard it’s going to be to say goodbye. These people have taken me in as their own. They’ve taught me so much, not only about India and their culture, but about myself. I cannot believe that in a month I’ll be on a flight back to the U.S. The thought of leaving India, a place I’ve learned to call home is gut wrenching, but I’m here for another month. I have time to make more memories and I’m going to make the most of it. I don’t want to regret thinking too far into the future and forgetting to embrace the now.