First Day: Mike Ely

First Day


I was downstairs filling my water bottles when I heard the commotion followed by screaming. I thought I heard my name so I went upstairs to discover that a huge spider had been crawling down the wall of our bathroom and Trish was yelling for someone to kill it! That someone turned out to be Adam, who instantly became herhero. And mine as well, because I’m really not wild about spiders either, ha ha!

And so started the first day!

After breakfast, we met our new translator, Isha, a native of Chamba, and headed to our new school, Kuther. We arrived to the sounds and sight of the kids saying their morning prayers…which is about the cutest thing you could ever hope to see! We got name tags on the kids and jumped right into teaching our Day 1 lessons. We have 38 kids total, 19 boys and 19 girls, from 1st to 5th grade. And the kids on my team are SO good with the kids of Kuther! I am lucky enough to be the team leader for Kennedy, Mary Jane, Olivia, Hank, and Isaac. We are the Blue team, aka the “True Blues!” I love my True Blue team so much! They are SUCH good kids! Kennedy is so steady and so consistent and so unflappable! She can be firm with the kids if needed to keep them in line, but she does it with such a soft and loving touch that they are happy to obey her! Mary Jane’s face just lit up when she first saw the kids! She is basically giddy with happiness the entire time she is with these kids! They adore her and she loves them…and they know it! Olivia basically gets mobbed by the kids because they love her so much. I came in her class one time to see how she was doing and was surprise that I couldn’t find her. And then I realized she was at the bottom of the pile of kids who were all trying to hug her! Hank has so much energy and love for the kids, and it’s a pure joy to watch! There was a boy named Mohit who was part of the classes though not officially registered at the school. When we were finished for the day, Mohit threw his arms around Hank’s neck and wouldn’t stop hugging because he didn’t want Hank to leave! And Isaac is as much of a team player as you will ever find! He jumps right in and asks what he can do to help out, and wants to see everyone on the team do well. He is also a pure natural with the kids and formed and instant connection with each one of them!

Whatever apprehension the Blue team may have had about teaching the material or not understanding the kids basically melted away as soon as they saw the kids and started their lessons. They are truly all SO good with the kids and have SO much natural affection for them that it’s impossible for everyone not to laugh and have a good time! So, thank you, parents, for letting us have your kids for these 2 ½ weeks. And the kids of India thank you, too!