My International Practicum Experience - Week 8
July 25, 2019 | 3:57 PM
Colton Pettyjohn '19, Social Work Major
I have officially finished my internship at the Blind People’s Association. All that is left here for me to do is some last-minute paperwork and a presentation to the staff about my time at the association. To sum up my last week, it was bittersweet. However, I saved the best unit for last and had the privilege of working with students with Deaf-blindness. These children definitely made their way into my heart, and although it was a short-lived experience I will never forget them. Some of the activities we did included making Pani Puri (a traditional Indian street food), working on vocabulary skills about food, working one-on-one with a 9th standard student on his English so he can transition to the blind school on campus, and playing “Jenga” to work on motor skills. After my work in this unit was finished, I was able to take one more trip to Sayla, about 80 miles from Ahmedabad. While there, we visited their center which was a miniature version of my practicum site but with more technology. Then we traveled to a nearby village to meet with a self-help group for women with disabilities who are working to fight social injustice and build a support system to help one another. Afterward, I was able to visit an organic farm the village uses to bring in income. The things I was able to see and experience this week was definitely a great way to wrap up my internship.
Now that my internship is coming to an end, I’m contemplating and reliving all of the memories I’ve made here. The worst part of it all is that in three weeks I will be on a plane back to the U.S. I can't believe that time has passed by so quickly. This experience has been so life-changing and has fueled my drive and passion for social work. I know the hardest part will be leaving this place that I have called home for the last three months. I’ve seen so many great things and met so many amazing people and it’s going to be so hard to say goodbye. However, I still have three weeks to enjoy and explore India, and I’ll do what I can fit in and leave the rest for when I return because I will definitely be back. But when I’m not in India, I’ll always have the impact it made on me to carry me into the next steps of my growth. I’ve loved every second I’ve been able to spend here, and I am grateful to those who have supported my journey to India.
I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life!