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India 2008

Dear Richard,

I am writing to thank you earnestly and profusely for the assistance that you gave me in going to India. It was truly a life changing experience, and one that I shall remember forever. I travelled around the North, arriving in Kolkata, and going to Orissa, Varanassi, Agra, Delhi and Rajasthan.

Not only did I learn so much about a wonderful culture and country, but about myself and the type of life that I want to lead. Going to a developing country stimulated my desire to become involved in either human right’s law or politics, which is so important during a gap year when I was feeling unsure and worried. It has also helped me to mentally prepare to volunteer with VSO, for the next 6 months, 3 of which will be in Mozambique.

India was a country full of beauty and a multiplicity of belief. Everyday was truly and adventure, where I was made aware of my own ignorance, and had to learn from scratch, simultaneously humbling and inspiring me. Never before have I felt so truly alive and grateful for all the wonderful opportunities I have been the beneficiary of. It has genuinely motivated me to do all in my power to enable others to have the same, and I know it sounds cliched, but to make the world a bit of a better place. At the same time, it has also robbed me of some of the preconceptions that I may have had previously, and lofty dreams that were not actually grounded in reality.

In short, I would have to write a small novel in order to ever convey the sumptuous, although often painful, but never forgettable, whirl of experience that was my trip to India.
Thank you so so much, you have helped me more than you will ever know,

Yours sincerely,
Romy

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The three months that I spent working in Ibarra, Ecuador, have contained undoubtedly the craziest, shortest, most challenging and eye-opening experiences that I could never have imagined before I left. Working here [in Ecuador] I have learnt so much more about the language, the culture and the realities of development work in Latin America that I think it will be a long time before I've really absorbed everything!

Elizabeth Parker, University of Edinburgh, 2006

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