Due to Covid-19, all current and future expeditions are suspended until further notice.

It’s all about the smiles — By John Grothe

June 5, 2019 - 2019: vada ka yuva

Traveling 7,500 miles (or 12,000 Kilometers as most of the world measures distance), passing through four airports with their seemingly countless security screens, topped off with an 18 hour bus ride to the Jihbi Valley in Northern India was…challenging. As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, this valley is as rugged as it beautiful.


The work here is hard and we all miss our families. I particularly miss my wife (hi Lorie, I love you). It’s wonderful to watch how we have grown together as a new YMAD family. We have been strengthened by including our new Indian friends as part of our family. I’m not sure if I should post their names here on the Internet so I won’t name them, but I will describe them in the next few paragraphs.


They include our India Guide, Contact, Provider, Protector and Friend, are titles held by a single amazing person — Raj. Our two interpreters have been priceless in supporting our mission. Our camp hosts have worked tirelessly to create a warm and comfortable environment. Many highly skilled driver have all helped in supporting our daily transportation needs.


All the work, discomfort and time that has been freely given by thirteen strong, dedicated and unselfish youth. Our two directors work day and night paving the way for this successful mission. Three (counting myself) other adult leaders also work hard in supporting our amazing “thirteen”.


We have been in two different schools over the past week. Between the two school seventy-five beautiful school children meet us each morning. Their voices chime with “good morning sir, good morning ma’am”. Their deep loving eyes and smiles warm are hearts and souls when we are with them. For these children we happily offer our love and service.


Today we said goodbye to our new found friends, many tears were shed by all. Now we take with us only photos and precious memories of “our kids”, our love for each other and India’s children with deep loving eyes and beautiful smiles.


3 Responses to “It’s all about the smiles — By John Grothe”

  1. Thank you for everything!

  2. Thank you for the part that you have played in Isabella’s( my granddaughter) awesome journey.I LOOK forward to hearing all of the stories that she will share with us!❤😊
    Debbie Reagan

  3. So glad you were able to join the group! Sounds like you’re having an amazing time.

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