An opportunity of a life time By Clara Larsen

November 26, 2019 - 2019: Operation Parivar

An opportunity of a life time

 

I never knew that I could feel so much joy in my life until now. This has truly been an opportunity of a life time and I am beyond grateful that I have been able to teach such beautiful and happy children and to be a part of such an amazing organization. I am so grateful to my family for all their support and helping me get to India. Mom and dad I don’t know how I got so lucky to have you as my parents and my forever cheerleaders. I love you guys so much and am so grateful for everything you have done for me. I am so grateful for my leaders that have put so much work into this expedition. I cannot thank them enough for the countless hours of time and effort they have scarified to make this experience so amazing. I have been beyond blessed and I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity to somewhat bless the children at Bendal.

 

Today was our last day at our school. Our last time seeing those beautiful smiles and hearing their contagious laughs. Today was a little different we didn’t really teach lessons but instead we reviewed the lessons we taught over the past 6 days. But it turned more into game time instead of studying flash cards haha.. It was so much fun we played “bubble gum bubble gum in a dish”, “down by the banks”, “duck duck goose” and a photo sesh. The kids love taking pictures and goofing around so that was definitely highlight of the day was just spending time with them and having a good time.

 

After lunch we gathered all the supplies we brought with us to give all them. This is when it hit me that I never knew I could feel so happy. We had backpacks, school kits with all types of school supplies, hygiene kits, gloves, blankets and a picture of all of us to give the kids. When we started to hand all these things out their faces lit up and they were all so excited. I have never seen anyone so excited to receive backpack in my life. They have so little but are so happy and it really hit me that choosing to bless it the best happiness you can give yourself. Not a new Jeep or the newest IPhone but serving others is what will make your heart gush with joy. I will never forget the reactions of all the kids of receiving these items. We also gave them chocolate, a “operation parivar” sticker and Ymad friendship bracelets. After we handed all these out we had a little less then an hour to say goodbye and hand out our personal pictures from our photo albums. I loved this they all now have a small piece of me and hopefully can remember me and the memories we made. Of course I started to ball my eyes out and some of the boys laughed at me but I got them back by giving them a big squeeze. I took as many pictures as I could and tried to hug all of them before we had to say our final goodbye. I cannot describe the moment when Jens told us it was time to leave my heart completely dropped. That was one of the hardest goodbyes for me. As I walked up the stairs to the bus I couldn’t control my crying and the whole bus ride down I could only think about how much I love these kids. I’m so sad I won’t be able to be a part of these kids lives anymore but I’m just happy I got to be in it for a very small moment and wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything.

 

Here a few of my very favorite memories with the kids.

  • Coming up with “boom chicka pop” (this is small game I made up to keep the kids entertained and they loved it
  • Playing double jump rope with Anjali
  • Teasing the older kids with Hayden about having crushes on each other
  • Picking up Palak after she fell and cuddling with her until she felt better
  • Singing Felicityyyyy with the kids
  • Singing songs with the preschoolers and boom chicka pop to keep their attention
  • Ride ride that pony and watching the kids faces light up when they would get chosen to go in the middle of the circle
  • Tickling Gopal and hearing his cute laugh
  • Putting Chirta on my shoulders and skipping around and putting her at the top of the poles to slide down and her cutest yellow sweater she would always wear
  • Always sticking my tongue out at Devinder and watching him stick his tongue out at me
  • Catching Manju red handed cheating and yelling out “cheat cheat cheat!”
  • When Minakshi always pinches my cheeks when I’d smile super big
  • Prevween calling me “ma’am” and saying “ma’am please ma’am one picture” and then he would take my camera and take pictures of everyone and everything
  • Diya always asking me who my boyfriend is haha I would tell her Shawn Mendes
  • Telling all the kids Shawn was my boyfriend
  • All the kids calling me “dede” which means sister in Hindi
  • When all the kids play with my hair and cinch my pony tail super tight
  • Reading “Where the Wild Things Are” and saying “monster” in a scary funny voice
  • Having the kids run to me wanting to hold my hand when going to the lessons
  • DoingEskimo kisses with Anjali

 

There are too many memories to count but I have absolutely loved this experience and would not change it for the world! I am so so beyond grateful for everything I have been blessed with and I cannot wait to see my family and friends when I get home! I also hope you all have the best Thanksgiving I know my family is celebrating tomorrow so eat a lot and really think about how blessed we are and how much we all have. I love you all and am excited to see you all in just a few days! Also I could not forget this… Happy happy birthday Ooma! I love you and hope you have the best day! <3

 

 

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