I have been here for about five days now and have had the opportunity to familiarize myself with the surrounding neighborhood on my short walk to work. For my job I will be working at Pordac-NGO which is a school for autistic and down-syndrome students. In India there is an extreme lack of knowledge about autism. Most schools do not offer any special assistance for autistic students and simply mainstream them with the general population of students. This leads to many autistic children dropping out of school and not receiving the help that they need. At Pordac it is our mission to help promote quality skill development with our students to help them become functioning members of society. Since May and June are "summer vacation" months for the students I have started my work by updating the programs website and Facebook pages. I also had the chance on my first day to sit in on the parent meeting and meet the parents of the students who I will be working with! Throughout May I will continue to work on their webpages as well as help create the curriculums for the summer workshops that will begin to host in June. I am excited to share my knowledge with the current employees and to help creat wonderful programs for the students to enjoy!
Outside of work I have visited local markets that sell fresh vegetables with my house mother and she has cooked up an array of odd veggies for me to try such as pumpkin and banana plant flowers and even the inside of a banana tree trunk! She has also taken me to the local Mandir (a Hindu temple) which is only a few blocks away and has taught me a lot about the Hindu religion which I find extremely interesting! Just this evening my boss took me to one of the most popular clothing markets which reminded me of a more crowded version of China Town in NYC. It was so much fun to haggle down prices and see all of the beautiful clothes, purses, and other goods that the market had to offer!
I am still adjusting to the way of life in India and am very excited to see where this journey takes me!
My boss Manjir and I at the market.