Somehow, the lyrics to the old Peaches and Herb classic â€˜Reunitedâ€™ are on repeat in my head as I finish clean-up from my goodbye party here in Seattle. Iâ€™ve been home for about two months from my latest bout of career adventures in Toronto, Canada and although itâ€™s been nice to unwind and reunite with family and old friends, Iâ€™ve found myself eagerly anticipating a whole different kind of reunion.
On July 30th, 2010 I will reunite with India â€“ my country of birth but also a country that has become foreign to me after having gone over a decade without a visit. The anticipation of such a reunion fills me with many overwhelming emotions â€“ excitement, fear, joy, nervousness, and at the best of times, an insatiable need to dance crazily to my favorite Bollywood hits. My mind is abuzz with incessant questions â€“ Will I be accepted? Will I feel Indian? Will I be able to handle living there? But somehow in the background hums a current of calm knowingness that this is the homecoming Iâ€™ve been yearning for.
What adds to this sense of calm is my observations of friends and other second generation Indians who, despite having been raised abroad, have slipped comfortably and successfully into study and work positions in India. Their tales consistently include exciting adventures, travels, and, above all, a recognition of parts of themselves within the culture there. Confidence boosted, I too, set forth on a journey of self-discovery.Â
I am moving to Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh to work for an education-based NGO named the Rural Development Foundation. The organization founded and now operates five schools and a junior college in different rural villages outside of Hyderabad. Pictured below is a glimpse into the kind of work they do within the villages:Â
The organization originally began as the brain child of a few families within Hyderabad, who realized their success was due to the education they had received and thus wanted to give back to their own village by providing similar opportunities. Having successfully expanded the organization, they are now trying to sustain this growth by building a recognized brand and ensuring long-term funding. I will be acting as Public Relations and Development Manager to help the organization through this transition.
Having graduated with a B.A. in Finance and International Business and a background in Management Consulting, this will be a significant shift in career scope. I am looking forward to exploring the differences, both good and bad, from the business to the non-profit world.
This leap of faith represents more than just a reunion with my heritage; it is also a much-welcome reunion with my passion for education and my desire to make a larger-scale impact with my career. With my blog posts, I hope to explore all such reunions and shed light on the ups and downs of my forthcoming journey! For now, I leave you all with the visual of two long-separated lovers running towards each other in a field of sunflowers. â€˜Reunited and it feels soo goodâ€¦â€™
Editor’s note: We’re very excited to share Piya’s experiences with all of you through Jolkona’s blog! At the time of publication, Piya has arrived safely in Hyderbad and has started her work with RDF. Check back here or subscribe via RSS so you don’t miss her next post!