Tara Casebolt is an alumna of the 2018 CLS Hindi program in Jaipur, India. She’s currently a second year PhD student at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill studying maternal and child health and population studies. She also holds MSW and MPH degrees in international health advocacy and development from Washington University in St. Louis and a BSW and BA in social work and women and gender studies from Ohio University. She enjoys traveling, dancing, singing and cooking.
Many Experiences Living Abroad
I was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but mostly grew up in the Appalachian region of Ohio. Before starting my PhD program, I spent a year each living in Darjeeling, India; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Lusaka, Zambia. India was my favorite place to live. The best place I have travelled outside of India was Cape Town, South Africa. My brother moved to South Korea, and I lived with him and his family in South Korea for a couple of months after his youngest was born.
A Memorable Visit in Jaipur
While I was in Jaipur, I visited an organization called Jaipur Foot. This is a group that makes artificial limbs for people who have lost their limbs for a variety of reasons and make and fit the limbs for their patients for free. I got to tour the facility, talk to the founder and the current director, and meet several patients and talk to them about their experiences with getting new limbs. It was really great and I learned a lot about the process of making the artificial limbs and loved getting to know all the patients and hearing their stories.
Hindi is the source of many English words, like pajama and jungle. Learning Hindi and seeing these pop up when you are learning vocabulary is always fun and interesting.
Sharing Home and Host Cultures
My host brother was a lawyer, so we talked about the differences between the U.S. and Indian legal systems and the politics of both countries quite a bit. We taught each other a lot about each other’s countries. When I came back, I told a lot of people about the organizations that I visited that work with people with disabilities throughout Jaipur. These organizations were really great and I think they will be helpful when working on my dissertation.
Continuing to Use Hindi
My dissertation research is focused in India and will include qualitative interviews, so speaking Hindi well will be very important. After finishing my PhD, I would like to move to India and teach at a university there, and would like to continue my research in India.
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