6 weeks (technically 5, we got 1 week off, to travel) that changed my life. I happened to come across 'Power Up', a health care initiative by AIESEC Bandung, Indonesia all thanks to AIESEC Pune, India. It was a health-centric project wherein we educated kindergarten, elementary and high school kids; in some cases even their parents; about healthy lifestyles through sanitation, hygiene and sport activities.
I got to meet SOO many people that changed my life and me in so many ways, that is what takes my breath away. I made lifelong friends in my 3 other EP's, my project OCP and OC's. I learnt how to be responsible, work so hard that I deserve a break and so much about the culture and the way things work there.
So about the project, I had to spend nothing on accommodation because I stayed with my wonderfully understanding and gorgeous Host Family. Initially, I was driven around by my OCP and OC's, who, I have to whole-heartedly mention, took time out of their busy exam schedules to take the 4 of us out and keep us entertained after work. But later, as we got the hang of the public transport, we used it as much as we possibly could.
We taught at 4 schools, 1 orphanage and attended one blind school. Whatever we taught at any of the mentioned schools, was guided by the 'Asian Medical Student Association' AMSA, Bandung, Who taught us patiently enough to actually teach us one song in Bahasa (Indonesian), to sing out loud with the kids. Which I must say helped them bond so much more with us! At the blind school, we tried our hands at reflexology, wherein a we observed the techniques being done and then practiced them with the students there, we also tried sewing mats with their help of course!
We travelled to more places whose names I cannot recall (because Indonesian is a complicated language!) in the city. But the four of us, the EP's we went to the renowned Yogyakarta on our own, because we'd gotten tight and comfortable by then. We travelled around the city, saw famous monuments (Borobudur, Taman Sari and Alun Alun) and shopped our wallets off. Everything was so well priced, it seemed like every girl's dream come true. I'm sure Rebeca would agree.
We also tried our hand at cooking, when we went to observe our partners who promoted vegan food and lifestyle there. My mother would be more proud than anything else.
This trip meant so much more than what it started out to be. I was on the first solo trip of my life, going to a place I'd never been to before, with no one I knew. And that happened to be the best decision I made in a really long. I've grown and I've had the time of life. The work was amazing, the Extracurriculars were exhaustingly amazing (biking around the city, trekking twice) , I got to meet not only every person indulging in my project, but participants and OC's from other projects, it was like one tightly knit experience. And don't get me wrong, the clubbing was pretty epic too. Not something you'd expect, but something you'd be pleased with.