Been thinking that I never really properly explained why I wanted to go on this SVO (Singapore Volunteers Overseas with the Singapore International Foundation) stint in India and what brought me to this stage of my life. Reasons are aplenty but guess there are a few that are a little easier to explain.
I’ve been working with communities overseas for quite a number of years now – it’s been almost exactly 10 years since my first brush with overseas community work in Pulau Bertam with Raleigh Singapore. Since then, I’ve participated in, facilitated and led a number of other trips but all of these were as part of larger teams and did not require any special skill on my part. Even when leading students, was mainly facilitating their learning rather than contributing directly to the community. Applying to do the SVO stint was a direct attempt to make use of the skills that I have and hopefully make use of them to help a community particular. Am at a peculiar time in my life and felt I needed a few months out of Singapore, away from the distractions that usually distract me so as to really have some time to reflect and discern what the rest of my life holds for me. Weird as that sounds, that was one of the main things that drew me to spending a year out to work in a different community for a different cause.
With every trip comes new experiences – that’s what I’m aiming for too. I’d like repeat the experience of living away – but this time doing something for another set of people instead of something for myself. Even if the main intention that I had for this trip was one of self-discovery, it’s great to be able to help a community in some small way.
Any reason why I picked India? Not really – as someone I know mentioned, India picked me and not the other way around. I was offered the assignment by the good people at SIF SVO and knowing me, I jumped at the chance.
And so one gets ready to leave. And leave one will, when the time comes.