Donna Laveriere (India)

Donna Laverdiere (Butterflies, India): Donna grew up in a small town in Maine and received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Tufts University. After college, she spent three years in the publishing industry, and then worked for AT&T and Cadillac. During this time Donna was heavily involved in political organizing on women’s issues and helped found a nonprofit privacy rights organization. At the time of her fellowship, Donna was pursuing her Master of Public Policy at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, with a focus in global policy.



Departure

20 May

I take off for New Delhi in six days on two legs of a 16 hour journey. This will be the longest flight I have ever taken, going the furthest distance. So far I have traveled around Europe and the Caribbean, as well as across the US, but I have never traveled to or lived in a developing country.

Over the past few days the anxiety has set in, and I wake up instantly thinking about what is ahead and get lost in it once again just before I fall asleep. I am concerned about so many things: the heat, the water, getting sick, my commute in an auto rickshaw. But most of all, I am concerned about whether or not I will be able to do my part to help these children.

My work for Butterflies will be challenging on many levels. I am most worried about how I will feel when I see the kids. I am so removed from the lives they lead, and have no concept of the experience of surviving on the street. I can only imagine what it will be like to share a space with these kids, to try to teach them English, and to get to know them.

I think what keeps me up at night is hoping I can at least make some small impact by being there. There are several hundred thousand street children in Delhi alone, and the problem is so vast that it is daunting. Only there for 3 months, I hope I am not too intimidated by the task.

I know this mixture of anxiety and excitement will intensify as my date of departure approaches. I plan to continue to focus on getting there and beginning work at Butterflies. I can only imagine what I will think when in three months I look back at this pre-departure blog entry.

Posted By Donna Laveriere (India)

Posted May 20th, 2006

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