“Priceless Memories of Prashanthagiri’s Children”
by Donovan Driscoll ’15 ME
No reflection on this experience would be complete without mentioning the energetic and compassionate children that abound in the Prashanthagiri village. Amidst all the bouncing of soccer balls and footballs, the community children enjoyed hearing about our families and friends and shared stories about their family and friends, as well. And they LOVED taking photographs!
A favorite memory from my two weeks in India occurred when the Villanova students, accompanied by four neighborhood children, set out on a hike up a rolling hill bursting with tea plants in order to watch the sun set. A trail that would typically take fifteen minutes to complete ended up taking much longer due to the children’s fascination with our cameras. One of the girls was trying to take close-up pictures of us, two of the boys were attempting to take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other, and little Abhi “Waldo” was on his tippy-toes, stretching his arms out high to get as close a picture of the moon as possible. Getting to know these children on a personal level, as well as the other children in the village revealed to all of us the significance of engineering service work. By the end of our trip, we felt as if we had known some of the villagers far longer than our brief stay. The self-sustaining projects that Profugo has initiated in this community require a long-term commitment and will ultimately help these children reach their potential. As a Villanova engineering student, I am honored to assist Profugo and the wonderful people I met in India.