ETASHA Revisited. Then and Now….

Working with ETASHA, Round Two!

Abhishek Now...
Abhishek Now…

Hello again! My name is Abhishek Bhargava, and you may remember me from my former blog entries, published two years ago. I am in Delhi once again for my summer holidays, and again, am interning with ETASHA. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be updating our records, interviewing and writing blog entries, and creating a profile for ETASHA on various donor match sites. Returning to the organization two years later also means being able to revisit former trainees I knew in 2012, and have kept in contact with via Facebook (but more on that later).

During my two-year physical hiatus, I wasn’t completely disconnected from ETASHA. My high school, through a program known as JAGS (Jackson Academy for Global Studies), looks to enhance students’ knowledge of conditions and cultures around the world. To this end, I thought it would be a great idea for JAGS students to meet some of our own trainees.

 

After collaboration with Ian, Parul, and Ms. Kathryn Stone (a JAGS teacher back in Ohio), we successfully matched up a handful of JAGS students with trainees. Over the course of several weeks, each pair of radically different adolescents from opposite sides of the world talked about topics such as music, hobbies, and family.

 

What both groups learned, more than anything, was that no matter how dissimilar we appear, the forces that unite us are ultimately more important (and relevant) than those that separate us. All of the JAGS participants came out of the talks with a much better idea of how their counterparts lived, and our trainees had the opportunity to practice spoken English with native speakers their own age! In the coming year, we hope to further the partnership between ETASHA and Jackson High School, although I will not be able to serve as liaison due to college coursework. To view a brief synopsis of the communication between Jackson students and our trainees, please follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6euWCXbPIw.

 

A little bit more about what’s been happening with me the last few years: I just graduated high school, and will be heading to Dartmouth College, a member of the Ivy League, in the fall, most likely to study finance. After my summer at ETASHA in 2012, I realized the value of a proper education, and that is partly why I chose Dartmouth, which is ranked as the best college in the United States for undergraduate teaching. I still enjoy playing table tennis, tennis, and basketball.

Abhishek Then
Abhishek Then

 

As you no doubt see from the pictures, I don’t look quite as young as I did two years ago, although I’m constantly reminded by everyone at the office that I’m still “just 17,” a comment sure to generate some good-hearted laughter. You can read my blog here http://www.etashasociety.org/blog/2013/01/volunteering-bringing-change-to-myself/

 

Even though I hadn’t set foot in GKII or any of the centers in two years, it felt as if no time at all had passed my first day back. Familiar faces, new faces, it doesn’t matter: the heart of ETASHA is the same, replete with the friendly atmosphere I remember so well. Whether they’ve known you for two years or two seconds, every member of the ETASHA team treats you like family, and that’s what makes my time here so special to me.

 

This warmth manifests itself in everything the organization does, from facilitating to placements to alumni meets.

I can’t wait to get started!

–Abhishek Bhargava

1 thought on “ETASHA Revisited. Then and Now….”

  1. Parthena Draggett

    Abhishek, how nice to read your update and feel the enthusiasm that you have for ETASHA and establishing global connections! Good luck- May you continue to make a great difference in the lives of the people you meet! So proud to have been your teacher for three years…felicidades!

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