Friday, April 27, 2012

"Incredible India" - Memories of a Slovakian in Hyderabad

I started to plan my trip to India only few weeks before my departure. I didn't know what to think, what to expect, but I hoped that somehow I will be able to survive there for 6 weeks... As we landed in Hyderabad, bunch of AIESEC people were waiting for us, we started to talk, but firstly I didn´t understand a word...Indian accent seemed like something I would never be able to understand. But in obviously in some time this obstacle disappeared and since then I would never have a problem to understand any Indian.
First two days me and my friend Petra, we stayed at our „team leader“ Bhavishyat´s place. This was the first time I saw how indian family lives and it was also the first time I tryed indian food...not spicy, of course. I appreciated their hospitality, it´s not easy to accomodate two strange foreign girls. After that we moved to a flat with that funny view noone would ever have in Europe – yard full of garbage. Really something unusual for me...But the flat was in general ok.
First days of our stay we were just meeting other AIESECers and guys from Hyderabad Goes Green. Those days we didn´t have much work, because of some misunderstanding in communication between us and AIESEC, so we had some time to travel. One week in Kerala was one of the best trips I ever had. After we came back, some of other interns were already in the flat. It was nice to meet people from different parts of the world, to know more about them, about their countries, cultures and also to talk about my country, to share my experiences... We were supposed to work from that moment, but still there was not much work for us to do. AIESECers, as they promised us something we were not getting, as food. It was some kind of funny and weird not to get any food for few days and then, when they finally provided something, it wasn´t enough at all for 10 people. But we learned how to handle it.

Work we were doing was very interesting and I think that also usefull for those kids we were talking to. It was very surprising for me, the ways kids were behaving, how they were paying attentions to what we were saying to them. I really liked it. And then, after every workshop, the wanted to shake hands with us, asked for our autographs, that´s something I have never seen before.
Another problem we (interns) were facing was the time management and organisation of workshops. We didn´t get any information untill the last moment, mostly untill the late evening before the workshop was supposed to be. It was the same way also when the worshop was postponed or cancelled. Because of this desinformation, we couldn´t plan any other trip, even if we had enough free time for travelling. AIESECers only started to act after the complaint of all 10 interns and after a visit of the president of AIESEC.
Firstly I was supposed to stay in India only for 6 weeks, but as i fell in love with India, I postponed my ticket twice and finally I stayed for 2,5 months. My overall experience is great, I´ve seen very nice places, I´ve met great people, that became my close friends and although I´m already back home, I´m still in touch with them and I think I will be for a long time. I´ve learned so much about a culture completely different than my own culture, I tasted food as spicy as hell. I think India is a great country and I would be so happy to come back someday. I will only remember good things that happened over there and I will only laugh about those problems we had, cause they seem very funny now. But I hope, for the good of AIESEC Hyderabad, that for their next project they will try to focus more on their interns and they will try to avoid those errors and problems we were facing during our stay. As most of them are really young, they can doing it very good, but still can do much better, cause they have a great potential. I will miss India so much and hope to go there again very soon.

The writer is Simona Hains from Slovakia. She was in Hyderabad interning on Community Development Project.

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