What a Difference a Day Can Make! - Mike Ely

Funny how each day has its own personality. Our first day teaching in the schools was lots of fun…the newness of seeing our school, knowing that all we had prepared for for the last year was finally here, and especially seeing the kids at our school for the first time…it was kind of magical! The second day was also fun but definitely more challenging. The kids at the school were excited to see us, and that energy carried over into every class and lesson. The first and fifth grade classes were especially excited, which was cute, but it was also very challenging to keep them focused on the lesson material. By lunchtime we were frazzled and were so ready for a break! We wrapped up the afternoon with more lessons, songs and activities, hugged the kids goodbye, headed back to the hotel, and plopped down in a state of exhaustion! Wow, what a day! So we regrouped as a team, talked about what we might do differently, and formed a new game plan for Wednesday. And what a difference that made! We all felt like Wednesday was a much more productive day, and that we were able to keep the kids attention better and have a more effective learning environment. And I have to give all the credit for that to my team. I cannot emphasize how much I love my Blue Team and enjoy being with them! I seriously feel so honored to be their leader!! Isaac, Hank, Olivia, Mary Jane and Kennedy….I freaking love each one of you guys soooooooooooooooooooo much!! (I’ve decided I’m going to name my first five grandkids after each one of you!) You are such good kids, and you have so much love for the children of Kuther, and I love watching it in action! You are all so capable, adaptable, loving, playful, and you have totally stolen the hearts of the children at our school!

I’ve also loved getting to know every one of the YMAD kids in our expedition. I am grateful for each one of them and the unique personality and spirit they  bring to the entire group! I’m also grateful for the leaders of our group. Amy, Naomi, Trish and Rachael have made this expedition so fun and have created a feeling that we are one big family!! And it has been so fun to see Raj again. He of course makes everything happen while we’re here in India, and I love his playful personality! 

And a most special and well deserved thanks has to go out to Allison and Brooke, our expedition leaders. They have put so much time and hard work into making our expedition a success. They work so tirelessly on behalf of the kids and leaders of YMAD that I practically get tired seeing all that they do. And here’s the most amazing part: we probably only see about 10% of the work that they do!!! There is SO MUCH that goes on behind the scenes that we don’t see but that is absolutely necessary to making this whole thing work. I have seen this now for two years in a row, and I simply marvel at their commitment to and love for the kids and leaders of YMAD! So….to any parent, brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, neighbor, or even casual visitor to the YMAD blog…..please know that the kids of Operation Ashabadi are in  the hands of extremely capable and loving expedition leaders, and who above all else are keeping your children safe and protected!!

Finally, much love to my children and son in law back home who I miss very much. This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for the blessing of each one of you and Trish and Rachael in my life!!!