Sometimes it's hard to accept the 'end' of experiences as intense as the ones I experienced in India. As I went through RET and the process of going home, it felt like a part of me was still in India.
I didn't want to come to terms with the fact that I was back to the same old routine but simultaneously, found it hard not to fall back into the same old (unhealthy) habits I had left here. In a way, I was having trouble making two immensely different worlds meet.
Working on a capstone project has helped me acknowledge the journey and most importantly how far along this journey I've come. It's forced me to have to reflect upon the impact that my presence in Pune has had on the local community and the impact of the community on me.
During this year, I've accomplished one of the things that I am the most proud of; my library community project. On one of the last days at my apprenticeship, I asked one of the students who came to the library often, why he liked to read? "Because I can" ; his answer is one I will never forget. Small but meaningful moments like these are huge reminders of how much we take for granted.
That day, I was taught a lesson in gratitude by one of my students. It's also one of the reasons why I chose to make gratitude the theme of my capstone. To acknowledge that without the unfailing support of the GCY India staff, my apprenticeship mentors, the local community and the generosity of Punekars, the community project would not have been possible.
The capstone made me realise that this is not the end; the journey is not over. What matters now, is what I make of all that I have learned this past year and how I apply them to the next chapters of this journey.