“Goodbye my Second Home!”

November 20, 2012 | Natasha, DVM, AFS, Malaisie, Science of Life Studies

>“Oh I’m glad to be home!” I uttered those words as I dropped myself onto my bed in my dorm room after being away for a few days during Malaysia’s Deepa Valley holiday weekend. I looked at my roomy, laughed and said “did I just say home?” Yup I said “home” because after being here for over two months and a half, coming back to my NGO house became home to me. My room, my new friends, my work all became a place where I finally really adapted and felt comfortable. Sometimes I wonder why our brains and our minds can be so cruel on us. I mean I finally feel at home here but I’m leaving in two weeks to go back to the life I once knew. It’s quite the bitter sweet feeling as I’m sad to leave my new home Malaysia but simultaneously happy to go back to my real home in freezing old Canada. I find it quite interesting how being in one place for a period of time creates an illusion of home only because it becomes more familiar with time. Does it really become your home? And will it miss me when I’m gone?
After being here for the past months I can honestly say that I’m heading back feeling truly content with my internship overall. I learned so much in such a small period of time and I was given trust and flexibility to do my work while still following my key role as a communications intern. I was given the go ahead with my newsletter proposal for the organization and was appointed to help manage and assist in three important NGO exhibitions and galas at Malaysia’s Chamber of Commerce and at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in the famous Petronas Towers. These great opportunities gave me a glimpse into the real world of managing an NGO and all the hard work that goes into it. These non-profit organizations do so much work in order to serve others while reaping in little monetary value but gaining a lifetime of bliss for their societal altruism. Being part of the SOLS team and learning the intricate ins and outs of marketing and communications, I feel that I have grown a lot as a person. I’m not trying to sound corny and predictable by saying all the stuff that people want to hear after an adventurous international internship, I’m just speaking my true feelings from my heart.

I do feel that I got the most out of my internship with the time I had and I don’t regret anything other than finding my deeper inspiration later in the game. A month into my internship, I did question myself a lot. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing all that I could to truly get everything out of this internship experience. Reading other students’ blogs detailing their experiences with their host families, I felt a little sad that perhaps I was missing out on closer cultural connections with Malaysians. Except if I hadn’t been in this NGO housing next to the SOLS 24/7 school where the students also reside, I would have missed out on all the fun that we had! So as soon as I stopped comparing my experiences and realized that each internship in any country will be different based on a number of factors, I began to appreciate my time here even more. One just has to do everything one is comfortable with to maximize ones journey into the spiralling world of international development. There is no more dwelling on the ‘should haves, could haves and would haves’, but instead lingers a proud feeling within myself that I have emerged from my amazing time in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur a more experienced international development student and practitioner! Thank you to

<p everyone at SOLS 24/7 who has helped me develop my potential and thank you for every kind person I met along the way that has left a wonderful feeling in my heart. Goodbye my second-home!

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