It has been two weeks since I landed back in India. Its my 3rd time back in this beautifully chaotic and often times smelly city of New Delhi. I began this time differently than my other journeys as I am returning this time not as an independent spirit but a scholar of a Fulbright Research grant. Not having to worry about airport transportation or where I was going to stay was a lovely experience. All the grantees were put up at a hotel here in Delhi for our 4 day orientation. I met a number of smart and talented grantees all with very specific and elaborate research interests to be conducted around India. Soon after orientation I headed down to the home I would be hosted in during my year long grant period which is conveniently located near to my Hindi School and affiliate research site.
Part of my grant pays for 180 hours of intensive language training! So my first full week back I began Hindi Classes. I have a private tutor who immediately threw me into the deep end of Hindi language. I spend 4 hours a day/5 days a week in school and have been focusing much of my free time studying. It is absolutely critical that I am able to converse in Hindi before I begin my research towards the end of November. Hindi is a tonal based language and uses devanagari script instead of the roman alphabet. Having to learn a whole new alphabet and writing style has brought me down to an elementary foundation of learning. I know that time alone will be my greatest friend during this time. After my 4 hours of class I spend 2 hours doing homework. That is about 30 hours a week!
एक नई भाषा सीखो
(Learn a new Language)
My name is Maggie, but my family and friends have been calling me Dr.Mags since I started putting bandaids on my teddy bear. Now as a 25 year old I have just received my BSN from North Carolina. Nursing fulfills the passion I have felt for both healthcare and providing care to others. I began working alongside children with disabilities in high school with Rainbow Express Ministries and realized the complicated journeys many of these children and their families have to navigate that is unlike that of other acute illness. When I moved to India in 2015 I saw not only this same complicated health care process but the added complication of resource and knowledge deficiency surrounding disability. I am now following my heart and passion as it guides me back to India to live and work to facilitate and advocate for early intervention services for children with special healthcare needs.