Expectations and Reflections: how things will be when we start our trip…..

HelIo Readers! I Bijal Gajjar certainly feel grateful to the Dr. Nirmal Kumar, Head of Department for giving me such an opportunity. I completely agree with the words of Dr. Daniel Oerther that this meeting with the American students will bring unique perspectives, unique goals, unique backgrounds, unique skills and somehow I feel that this will help me to grow personally and professionally. It also help me for my personal growth because I personally feel that Its always a challenge to try something new.

This trip will provide an international experience in sustainable community development. Information and understanding of cross-cultural science and techonolgy from an engineering perspective will be emphasized and also development of multi-disciplinary education opportunities that facilitate community and societal improvements.

My project topic will be “Monitoring Water Ways and its Testing”. This will help me and my colleagues to identify the water quality in the country and helps the foreign team members as well as our team in spreading awareness and Drinking water crisis in the country.

The same basic moral and social values exist between the different cultures, but the vast differences in wealth forces them to apply them differently. The team will found out that to survive on sustenance farming takes a lot of backbreaking labor and leaves very little time for pleasure. Villagers have to work together to survive and have a much stronger sense of community. For them Life in Rolla is a lot “easier.” It takes less physical labor and the standard of living is much higher in Rolla, so it doesn’t force the community to band together and become a close-knit community.

Obviously, we will have a lot of barriers to overcome as a team. Language and cultural differences promise to make communication more difficult, and we have a limited amount of time to complete the project. First time ever in my life, I will be dealing with the foreign peoples and communicating with them and spending more than 20 days feel like, being in a totally new environment is something I am nervous about, but I am looking forward to experiencing. I enjoy being around others who did not demand that everything in life fit their personal agenda, and are more concerned with others than themselves.

I tend to be a little hesitant or reserved in new situations with new people. It will take me a little while to “warm up” to the task of working with a group from a totally different country, but I know that I will make myself put those fears aside and be even extra outgoing, especially as I try to learn as much from them as I hope to help with their project. At this point, all I can do is study the culture more and try to prepare myself for the trip ahead. Even with all the challenges, I know this trip will be an amazing experience and I hope that I leave with a better idea of who I am, the world around me and the people in it, and motivation for moving forward. I have found that the best trips and experiences in life usually have a big part of who and how you interact with, no necessarily where!  

Alright, I think I have given away enough of my thoughts for now.  I wonder what ‘the  visiting team’ will think when they read that ‘one student ’ struggles in writing few lines.

Well that is all for this time! Thanks for reading and lookout for my next blog!

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