It Was All Worth It - Naomi Allen

The magic of our trip began at the YMAD House of Learning where ten young girls live and receive an education.  The Operation Ashamed kids poured down the stairs from the road and onto the covered patio and then stopped half way across the room and nervously regarded the beautiful YMAD girls.  They took us in as well.  It didn’t take long before we were all warmed up to one another and dancing and singing and laughing and playing games together. Jono let one of the girls paint his finger nails,  different colors on each hand of course.  One of the last things we did there was to have a crazy game of tickle tag which I believe began with Rachael her little YMAD girl friend.  


The orange team travels to Channed school and Jono, Matthew, Nate, Kate and Rachael are all making a difference there! Monday was our first day there.  As we climbed the dusty path up the mountainside to the school, we could hear the beautiful sound of the children saying their morning prayers.  We stood respectfully just outside the school as the children sang their national anthem.  As we entered the courtyard, we once again found ourselves in a situation of mutual regarding.  The children showed a mixture of well behaved restraint and anticipation.  We did the same.  


We have 34 students at our school, ages 5-11.  They have been divided into 5 groups and we rotate through all groups, adjusting our lessons a we go to accommodate the different ages and abilities. 


On the first day, after about the second or third rotation,  I stood on the porch of the school and looked over at Jono teaching on another porch I and was suddenly overcome with emotion, joy…relief and number of other things. I was thinking about how hard we had all worked to prepare for this experience and I could see that now it was really happening!  Each one of the YMAD kids was surrounded by beautiful Indian all super excited to be learning English for these super awesome teachers.  


Kate has been fantastic at getting the kids to follow her around the courtyard.  Today I called her the mother duck, because that is what she looked like, marching around with little kids following her around in a single file line.  


Nates lesson on prepositions made all the other teachers wish they could be having that much fun with their kids.  He teaches with lots of enthusiasm and the kids are responding accordingly.  


Rachael shows great poise and is super effective with the little ones…She only came close to cracking when one of the little five year old kids ran off with all of Mr. Potato heads parts and began hucking them off the upper level playground down the the courtyard below.


Matthew, along with all the others has been a genius at figuring out what to do with the kids when the lesson material runs out.  On the first day I found him throwing little laughing second years up into the air and playing with them…just doing a little bonding while waiting for the next rotation.  


The orange team teaches wholeheartedly and are loving the students at Channed, and the students clearly love them back.  By the end of the day our five teachers are spent, but there is also this rejuvenation they seem to feel as the realize that they have not only survived by they have thrived.