India Day 6- Mariana Ransom

Hi Everyone!

    Let me just begin by saying we are all having an incredible time in India. We all love the girls more than words can describe. They are all so sweet and show their love for us in unique and genuine ways. Being in the Main Day boarding school is like a dream. All the girls are gorgeous and so photogenic, it’s no wonder they are always asking for us to take their picture. Each of us has a “fan club” of girls who stick to us like a magnet. My favorite girls (although I love them all) are Tina, Sabani, Supra, Angeli, and Riya. They are all so cute and I love each of them with all my heart. Even though there are many cultural and language barriers, we are able to communicate. 

    It’s so amazing that we as teens are able to have an experience in a developing foreign country where our sense of American culture is completely taken away from us. Almost every basic, everyday, “essential” part of our lives has either been taken away from us or dramatically changed. For example, the traffic laws here to an American seem non-existent. It’s not just that they drive on the left side but that they drive on primarily the left side and if someone in front of you is driving too slow then the driver will speed up and pass them with about four inches between the car and their car, bike, or body. Another example of the differences between America and rural India is the plumbing system. There have been countless times that I have had to verbally remind myself not to flush the toilet paper so that I don’t break the entire plumbing system. 

    I feel like the culture shock hasn’t really gotten to me very badly because I honestly expected India to be in a lot worse shape than it really is (or maybe it has gotten to me and I’m just oblivious to it). There is definitely poverty everywhere you look and it is evident in almost every place but these people have beautiful homes and overall a beautiful culture. Being in India has definitely reminded me that there is not a perfect correlation between wealth and happiness. These people have monetarily nothing but they are some of the happiest and most amazing people I have ever met. Everyone is so respectful and sincere. They are content with and grateful for what they have. It is such an inspiration to me to count my blessing and to make the most of everything I have been blessed with. 

    I not only have come to love the girls at the Main Day boarding school and the kids in the villages but I have also come to appreciate and love the other YMAD teens. I love all my new YMAD friends but I have come to have a particularly special bond with my village team. I have grown very close to Grace, Connor, Elliot, and Talmage through our many inside jokes and various experiences (both positive and negative), we’ve definitely been through a lot together. I’ve had a great time bonding over Indian pop music and our mutual love for the car rides. Everyone else is great too and I love the late-night chats with the girls before we go to bed. Bottomline is I love everyone here on this trip the came with me and all the people I have met during this trip. 

    I hope everyone at home is doing well and hopefully my family is missing me at least a little bit. Much love!

-Mariana