Long Roads Ahead

By Madelaine Thiel

Development and Partnership Coordinator

My time at Shanti is coming to an end! I can’t believe I will be leaving next week. It has been an incredible four months.  I remember thinking I had forever to spend here back in January.  With a departure date looming I am suddenly wondering where all the time has gone.

There is so much left to do here before I leave.  Asides form packing and saying goodbye to all my friends on the Shanti staff, I have some practical matters to take care of.  I need to set up a platform for the new intern coming in.  When he takes over my role, I want him to have a solid understanding of the priorities of the last 4 months and a sense of direction for his own internship. It is hard to think of this house moving on!  Memories tend to freeze capture individual experiences, while ignoring the changes that happen outside that specific window.  I can’t wait to hear how Shanti grows over the summer.

Here is a list of things I will miss most about this place:

-It is nice to have company. The house may get crowded and hot, but it is nice to be surrounded by people going through the exact same struggles and triumphs.

-I will miss my mosquito net.  I won’t miss malaria threats or nighttime crawlers, but there is something intimate about waking up in your own bubble of blue netting.

-I will miss Rolexes (the local fried delicacy)

-I will miss our project coordinator.  She acts as psychologist, friend, tour guide, cook, manager, translator, and physiotherapist.  One can always count on her to be a straight shooter, and I will sincerely miss her.

-I will miss the Shanti staff and Kasana community members.  My position involved some networking, so I was fortunate enough to meet many interesting people.

-I will also miss the fresh fruit and vegetables.  This is the best pineapple I have ever had in my life.  I will not be able to get this in Canada.

I am sure there are many more things I will miss but for now this is all I can think of. I do look forward to seeing friends and family, but like all departures it is a bitter sweet thing.

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