Behind the Scenes

Natalia Plancarte - India


January 31, 2017

When I applied to Global Citizen Year I remember thinking “Wow this looks amazing”. Who would have guessed that I’d actually be part of the 2017 cohort. I have been in country for four months,three weeks and five days. And a total of five months and five days away from home.It’s been a crazy adventure I’ve had my up’s and down’s. Yes there are days where I feel homesick,sad and the cultural shock can become too real. Not everything is picture perfect. Believe me I am constantly finding myself in my stretch and panic zone.

 

Everyone has their own experience. Which means that everyone’s story is unique in their own way. We all face obstacles in different ways. When you click the Global Citizen year website you see all smiles, and laughs. It seems like an adventure. But what you don’t see is the bigger picture. The whole point of this is to be pushed out your comfort zone. And that’s exactly what I am doing.

Shubham(on the left) and Sahil (on the right)

As most of you know I am currently working with Teach For India as my apprenticeship. Monday through Thursday I go to school and attempt to teach the kids. I have no experience teaching yet I’m still doing it. The most difficult thing about teaching is the language barrier. I spend more time trying to communicate with them than the time I spend teaching. I only know a little bit of Hindi and I’m not confident in speaking the language. However, I push myself to communicate with them. They help me practice my Hindi and I help them with their English.

I’ve always been afraid to try new things. Back at home I had a structured day. I knew what I was doing for the next two weeks. And here well I don’t really know it just depends on the day. There’s a lot of free time. Which means that I get decide what I want to do. Sometimes I like to be alone and read. It makes me feel alive.

Let’s not forget about a topic everyone tries to avoid. Home. Being far away from my family has taught me a lot. For example I have learned how to be more independent. I am the one that makes sure that I get enough sleep every night so that the next day I am full of energy. I wash my own clothes, and take care of myself. I also learned to value my family way more than I already did. Some days are hard and I can’t wait until I go home. But then it hits me just like I miss home I will also miss India. And I’ll be home soon. When will I ever get this amazing opportunity again. Some days are hard but you just have to look on the bright side.

If I could draw how my experience so it would a mess. It wouldn’t be a line going all the way up or a line going down. It’s been a hell of a ride. And there’s still two months and 2 weeks left! I can’t wait to see what’s next. I really want to make the most of my time here. I need to stop comparing my year to others because it’s not the same everyone’s year is unique and it’s their own. So I should embrace mine and own it.

Natalia Plancarte