021 // two thirds through

Technically I suppose there should be a hyphen in that title, but my blog, my choice, and I’m feeling lazy.

Obviously not so lazy that I can’t write a sentence (or two) about it, though.

 

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I am still in India and am officially two thirds of the way through my summer, although that can range from 66-72%, so it really depends on how you look at it.

Personally, I’m looking at it as being nearly three-fourths of the way through my time here in India. It is a difficult place to live, and not only because I’ve learned the hard way that I cannot eat spicy food. At all. No, it is difficult for so many other reasons.

But the time here has also been an incredible experience and opportunity, and I have learned quite a lot, about myself, public health, and program implementation. In the end I think I will be able to look back on my time here and feel that it was all worth it. For now, though, I admit to looking forward to my birthday gift to myself – two weeks in Europe. There will be face-stuffing with all the non-spicy food, packing extra croissants into my luggage to take home with me, and lots of hugs with friends and family that I have not seen in 9-10 years.

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In public health you frequently hear two quotes being repeated. The first relates to the quality of work – “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.” The point being that if you hold out for the best quality, or the perfect program implementation, you will be waiting for an awfully long time. Don’t let that quest for perfection stop you from doing something that is good and needed in the meantime.

The second quotation is to “Go where the problem is.” Alright. I am here. I am seeing children who will die because they don’t have enough food, and mothers who will die because they don’t have access to appropriate care. I am working with an organization fighting to care for the people here, and it is heart-wrenching. There are so many aspects of daily life in the US that I think, “Geez, XYZ would be great right about now and would take care of this completely,” but then I have to take a step back and realize that not only is that not here, the possibility is such a distant dream that it qualifies as the “perfection” in the first quote. I am learning that what is good here is something that I never would have anticipated.

 

Perhaps there was no point to this. I am here where the problem is. I am learning good versus perfection in this setting. I am learning. That is the point with summer internships, isn’t it?

 

Time spent: 19 minutes

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