Reflecting on the year gone by my perspectives on life and people has changed both at a professional and a personal level.
This fellowship has allowed me to think outside the box. Before I joined this fellowship my thinking was very limited and mathematical. My perspectives on education, health, technology and people have enlarged considerably. I have gotten to know that the precepts of health do not operate on a mathematical model rather health is a multi-dimensional discipline that is inextricably tied with other fields like psychology, sociology, technology and anthropology e.t.c. In order to bring a social change or impact the health of any community one has to understand the community first but to impart knowledge in a culturally segmented community is a complex process fraught with challenges. With my background in software engineering I am getting to understand the spill of several disciplines of which my knowledge was very rudimentary.
Dealing with people, making connections, implementing ideas and bringing new technology in the field is not as easy or simple as I thought it to be. I was conditioned to a system of education where the humanistic dimension in education was missing as a result learning was always mathematical that did not allow us to think critically and with rigor. Being a software engineer I had no formal exposure to effective writing. Even though I took a lot of time in writing proposals and concept papers, it gave me an opportunity to improve my writing skills considerably.
In addition, my dealing with public and people from diverse backgrounds has surged a lot. I have greatly enhanced my networking with people in my field on a day to day basis through seminars, meetings, social media and participation in conferences.
As a result of spending one year my viewpoint about people in general has changed a lot. I no longer view people who are part of a system or an organization to be accorded importance according to their position in the organization as the case is in my country rather each person has its own shape and fit in the organization and hence is equally important.
I eventually trained myself to make my projects outcome oriented and also learnt to wrap up and meet my deadlines in a timely way. This fellowship has also enabled me to grow, evolve and globalize to understand diverse cultures and bridge those differences in a diverse community of global leaders.
On a personal level my experience has been very enriching. Some of my long held beliefs about other cultures have been shattered and allowed me to change my perceptions about other countries. This Fellowship has enabled me to meet fellows from a number of countries. It informs me how misperceptions can be the starting point of rifts between nations – whatever media projects is sometimes far from the truth.
I have experienced how to live and managed independently on a limited budget and how to deal the absence of family and friends who have been endeared to me even more. At times this has been a difficult process. Support of friends and colleagues both inside and outside my host organization has been very inspirational and kept me motivated.
I would also like to share my first trip experience to Washington DC to attend Atlas Corps training. I had to leave my house at 4 o’clock in the morning to take my flight. I lost my cellphone and missed the connecting flight in nervousness as I was new to the country and navigating uncharted territories. Little more planning in the process would have helped me more. Lessons learnt from this trip helped me in planning my subsequent trips which I managed successfully.
Overall fellowship has enlightened, enlarged and opened new vistas for future. It has been a profound learning experience and a period of growth.