Iris Chiang
Iris Chiang
India 2016-2017
I studied psychological science and art studies at Belmont University. I am going to Auroville, India to work under an art therapist for a program called Sankalpa. Read More About Iris →

Hello, India!

Due to wifi issues, I’m a few days late. This is my first post, written three days ago on my layover in Mumbai. Enjoy!

After many delays and cancelations, people and consulates, approval letters and stamps, 24 hours of travel time (and counting), I am very pleased to announce that I made it to India! And let me tell you, it has not been an easy journey!

When I first heard about the Lumos foundation about three years ago, I immediately knew I was going to do it. To be honest, I didn’t have many leads for my project, so naturally, I googled it. I don’t think it comes as much of a surprise to anyone that I couldn’t find many search results for “international art therapy interns”.

When I found Sankalpa, it seemed perfect. An accredited art therapist serving a community made up of about 50 different nationalities of all ages. And now, I get to be a part of it. I will be supporting young women at an education center, assisting in an after-school program, shadowing in art therapy sessions, manning an art station in the city welcome center, helping out in other art-based community outreach events, creating and executing a research project about the efficacy of art therapy, and so much more! At last, my beautiful baby Lumos project (almost 12 months in the making) is finally coming to life, friends!! I am excited to begin.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy decision to say to the least. There was an excruciatingly slow process to communicate and prepare for this trip, and there were the worried looks and discouraging comments about a place like that for a girl like me. I mean, India! What did I even know about that place?

I admit that sometimes, when I stop for a minute, I still look at my situation and think: how did I end up here? I am going to India alone for over half a year to a place I know so little about, a place where I don’t know anybody. Maybe they’re right—maybe this trip is crazy. But it’s just about time for me to say goodbye to the world as I know it. And I think that’s something to celebrate.

The more I learn about India, the deeper I fall in love with it. This coming month, I hope to learn much more about the rich history of India and complexity of the city I will be residing in. I hope to learn how to embrace and engage. I really hope that you will join me in this very exciting adventure.