INDIAAAAA!!: Matthew Hansen



Hello everyone, I hope all is going well in the 801. I want to start by talking about the YMAD girls. We walked into the YMAD house the first day and played a bunch of games with them, and then we had a dance party. After spending about an hour with them, the ice was finally broken, and we were a lot more comfortable with them. We were also able to visit them yesterday. I was so happy to go there especially after a long day at the school. One of the girls named Anamika drew a bunch of cool henna all over my arm. After that, Anamika showed me a whole bunch of pictures of her and her family. I will post a picture of it so you all can see.

The schools are wild. We walk into the schools, and all the kids stare and wave at us. They go on to do their prayers in a very unified fashion. Vishal, one of the fifth graders stands at the front and leads them. They stay very disciplined until the lesson starts, haha. The first graders just stare when I talk and make me laugh. One of the first graders, Arun, has huge eyes and is always running away. Then the second graders are the hardest. They know very little English and are always running around. In the third grade, there is a boy named Manjeet. He has loads of energy, which translates into him climbing on me and shouting at the top of his lungs. In the fourth grade there is a girl named Bhoomika who is the cutest girl. She is so shy, but she always comes up from behind and tickles us. Then there are the fifth graders. They are the best to teach. They like to learn and “understand” what I want them to do. After we are done teaching, the kids come and attack us. All of them want to be on my shoulders and take pictures with the go pro. They are all so cute and I will so sad when I have to say bye to them.

India is a crazy place. From the second I saw Amritsar from the window of the plane I knew I was in for a treat. I talked to a very fair nice man on the plane that was wearing a turban. He asked me about Donald Trump and how I felt about him. After that we talked about religion and what he believes. We picked up all of our bags and headed to the Golden Temple. We were told to protect the girls, which didn’t make sense until we got there. As we walked around, everyone was staring, and I felt as if all the men were sizing me up. Despite all that, the temple was beautiful. We left the temple and started the eight-hour drive to Chamba. The driving here puts your driving to shame, Dad. There was a huge traffic block, so the driver crossed the barrier and drive into oncoming traffic. It felt like a videogame. At any given point I am sure I could’ve stuck my arm out the window and touch another car. Then we got to the hotel, which had open walls and no heat. I took my first bucket shower, which was a great experience. It was difficult getting the water to a heat that wasn’t freezing, but also not scalding hot. I absolutely love it here. The kids are great, the people I am with are great, and the culture is great. See you soon!