“What is your name?”: Sarah Palmer

“What is your name?”

At our 2nd retreat during our compassion lesson, Brooke passed out a name of a kid in India to each of us. I got “Anamika.” I asked Brooke to send me a picture of Anamika, and I hung it in my room for months while preparing for India. Each time I looked at her picture I’d get more and more excited about finally going to India. Last Sunday we went to the YMAD house, where the 10 girls live that we support and pay for their education. The girls got in a line and introduced themselves, and I think my heart skipped a beat when I heard the name Anamika. After a few minutes I realized it was the same girl! There was an instant connection between us. It’s been a really cool experience to meet her! She’s my girl. She hugs me and smiles at me and holds my hand and it melts my heart! Yesterday when my village team was at the YMAD house she hands me a note and says “This is for you.” I love it SO much. One part says “One one two, I love you. Two two for (that’s how she spelled it), love is more. For for eight, love is great. Five five ten, I miss you my friend.” I already know I’ll cry when I read that at home. She’s got such a beautiful spirit, and I love her so much.

            Today was the cultural exchange! Walking into the courtyard & seeing how many people we’d be performing in front of was breathtaking and a little scary. Rows and rows of school girls sitting in the straightest lines. The oldest girls and our team took turns performing numbers. The girls did really cool dances and beautiful songs. They even sang “Cheap Thrills,” “I Love You Like a Love Song,” and “What Makes You Beautiful,” haha! They are all so good at singing! Our team did “I’m Yours,” our “Say Hey” dance, and “Baby” (all the girls got up and crowded us and danced with us, and a few of us did “Home” by Philip Philips. It was so fun! One of their teachers got up and sang and the girls came over to us and pulled us up to dance with them. That happened a couple times. I would ask the girls around me to teach me Indian dance moves. I probably looked really dumb doing it, but it was really fun. Indians have such cooler dance moves than Americans. Haha! The girls just surround you and then they shake your hand and say “One selfie?” or “What is your name?” or “You are so pretty!” or “You are so nice!” I wish we could have more time with them, I didn’t like having to leave so soon!

            After the cultural exchange we went shopping in the Chamba market by the YMAD house. There’s a method to the madness of it all, as Naomi would say. J I loved the smells, the fruit and vegetables piled up, the stacks and stacks of Bengal bracelets, the crowded shops, the bearded old men, the colors…I’m in love with India!

            And I’m still having camera problems, haha. I have a new memory card, which is awesome, but this morning I grabbed my camera bag because naturally my camera would be in there, but when I took my camera bag out of my backpack to take a picture, I found out that I left my camera at the hotel charging. Shoot. So Trish let me use hers the rest of the day, haha.

            Anyways, India is GREAT and wild, I love the food, and the way things roll here, and I’m not homesick. Sorry Mom and Dad. ;)