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Exchange experience of new season
By Rashmi Kedari, VSO Volunteer, India
It’s been 5 month and 20days since I am back in home. I still remember the time when I left
Namibia carrying lots of thoughts in mind. How will I adjust back with the environment? Will it beeasy for me to accept my past? Will I be able to accept the change within me that took placewithin last two year? How will I balance myself?But I was quite surprised. As soon as my flight landed at Mumbai, all thoughts that were troublingmy mind just disappeared. At first I received the feeling of security, feeling of coming back homesafely! The most important thing that I realised about myself in living these past two years inNamibia. I have turned into a new personality. As I have mentioned earlier I have learnt to beflexible and adaptable and these two qualities have helped me to complete my two year contractand these two qualities are helping me to settle back into my home country.In my two year volunteer experience with VSO I understood that sometime it is not easy foreveryone to accept a new culture, but once we start living in it we learn to accept and adapt; weget used to the new system. The process of change was quite similar for me on my return home.When we begin our volunteering assignment, I think the difficulty that we all face is very natural.
It’s like when a new season sets in …at first it’s always little difficult to accept the change. Once we
get used to it and then
it’s easier. First of all one must understand oneself & what culture one
belongs to? And then try to understand the perspectives of the other culture. According to myexperience, I would say that as soon as you enter into new culture you must remove the Indiancultural perspective glass from your eyes and be open to learn other side. For example at first Ihave been critic to the Namibia culture,
unknowingly I was criticising the life style of people,started comparing India to the Namibia, but soon I realise that I should not put the otherculture into measurement of judgment. Soon I realized its limits my growth, it becomes a blockto know the side of other society well.
Now I am at home & when I think about my work, I feel good about it. I have learnt a lot from thepeople and shared what I have. It leaves me with a very warm feeling in my heart.I had a dream to cross the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, dream to touch the sky and to know the
world across the river. One day my dream came true…., with the VSO, I had an opportunity to
work in Africa. It was a wonderful work experience and personal learning opportunity .Bothbecause of all this and in spite of all this; I learned the power of the human connection. It ispossible to understand one another and to share something of our variegated experiences despitedifferences in culture, in nationality, in religion, or in age. It is often easy to forget that there are