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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Olivia - India

What an interesting experience so far! I am currently staying with a retired woman in New Delhi, India. It is my first time out of the country, talk about culture shock! My first thought leaving the airport was, 'Be careful, we're driving on the wrong side of the road!'.

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. 

At work helping to update the website. 


  1. Hi Olivia-so great to read all your news! What an amazing experience so far. The photo at work is great--please keep those coming--especially with the kids when possible.
    How great you will be interviewed--I hope you can get a copy somehow and share with us! Also-I saw Adriana asked you to contribute to their site--please share with us too if that happens.
    Keep safe and keep in touch!

  2. Olivia,

    My name is Tammy Mida. I am interning in the LSA International Internship office this summer, so I will be reading and responding to your blog posts.

    I really appreciated your description of PORDAC and your job responsibilities. I have been doing my own research on this program. I used to be an elementary teacher, so this really interests me. That's great that you are getting some experience with updating the website- please share the address so that we can see your progress! Designing curriculum will be helpful experience. Please continue to share pictures of you at work- it's just what we are looking for!

    You seem extremely positive. Keep enjoying the food. I look forward to hearing about this week!