School on Top of the World - Tricia Ely

If you know me, you know all things charming and magical. Well, our little school high in the mountains overlooking all of Chamba is just that! Every morning we have a 30 minute winding, dizzying drive up the mountain. The chaotic driving on very narrow roads full of animals, people, cars and motorcycles somehow works. It is organized chaos!


Our driver drops us off and we begin about a 15 minute hike to our little school of Bhariyan. It is the MOST beautiful walk through the village and farmland. There are beautifully dressed women working in the fields, stacks of sugarcane, goats, lambs and donkeys hauling loads of rocks. The homes have brightly colored clothing hanging on their clotheslines.


When we finally climb down the steep stairs into the school yard we are greeted by 19 of the most beautiful little faces with big brown eyes. I’m convinced there is not a more gorgeous race of people than the Indians! 


The children start their day with their morning prayers. It is so sweet! They are so excited to see us arrive that they can barely hold still! They run to us for hugs and high fives and we scramble up the steps to the roof to start the day with a story and a song. From the roof of the school is the most spectacular view of all of Chamba. It is our little school on top of the world. The next five hours is a little piece of heaven. Watching the teens on my team teach and love the school children has been so rewarding. Sarah, Preston, Thomas, Staci, and Kimberlee just come alive when they teach. No matter how tired or sick they feel, they rise to the occasion every time. They are superstars and I love them! 


It gets harder to say goodbye each day. I can’t imagine how hard it will be next Tuesday. As we walk out to leave each day, we draw a bigger crowd than the day before. The villagers love to see us and give us high fives. On the first day, I blew them kisses and they all giggled and acted embarrassed. By Friday, they were all blowing us kisses!


When we have to say goodbye at the end of this experience, I will leave a piece of my heart at the little school in the top of the Himalayas called Bhariyan.