A couple of weeks have past since I returned from New Delhi. I have given a lot of thought to my experiences there and what they mean to me personally. Prior to this trip, I had never left the United States or experienced another culture. I honestly was not sure what to expect. I learned that the people of India are incredibly kind and generous. The food is good; especially the omelets which I hope to make at home. And the sites are some of the most magnificent in the world.
I realized that although I was thousands of miles away from home in an unfamiliar location with people I'd never met, we all really want the same thing; we want to make the world a better place. Dr. Pierret and JoAnna (a Mayo Clinic graduate student) came to share their knowledge and experiences with the teachers in the internship program. The teachers came to learn all that they could to ultimately make their classrooms better places to learn. I came to teach and learn if the thermocycler that I had spent so many hours on could actually be implemented for educational purposes and to perhaps even save lives.
This trip has furthered my scientific knowledge and provided enormous insight into the future of my project. I'm so incredibly thankful for each person I met along my journey; the scientists at IGIB and Amity, and the people who I saw along the roads as we traveled to different areas. Each of these people helped me ask important questions and influenced how I perceive the world. So many people have inspired me to continue working on my thermocycler. I have renewed interest, motivation and determination to make further refinements and help deliver it to the people of India, particularly those at Amity University and IGIB.
Lastly, I'm incredibly grateful for my mentor, Dr. Chris Pierret. I think it is fair to say that not too many people would offer to take a 13 year old across the world. Somehow, a simple thank you doesn't seem enough. He believed in me and truly let me be a scientist for those two weeks. I had so much fun being part of the internship program, meeting the scientists at IGIB, interacting with the teachers, and presenting my thermocycler. It was truly a trip of a lifetime and I hope to travel with him again someday. Chris is a great person, scientist and friend.