Don’t Worry Mom, I’m Alive! - Lizzy Ruegner

Hello everybody! Greetings from India! Yesterday we made our way to Chamba and visited the Golden Temple along the way (at four am) which was absolutely stunning. It’s hard to believe I’m actually in India. After months and months of preparation, it's crazy that it’s finally here! While we were driving from the airport in Amritsar to our hotel in Chamba, I tried to stay awake so I could look out the window at all of the scenery. It feels like I’m watching a documentary, everything is so gorgeous! There’s people and cows and dogs all over in the streets. The driving is a little bit scary but our drivers are really good at what they do, it’s kind of like riding a roller coaster. Once we got to the hotel we got to go meet the YMAD girls. They’re so cute! We played games with them for a while and got to know them a little bit, I can’t wait to get to know them even better! Even though we’d been awake for I don’t even know how many hours, Allison made us stay awake so that we wouldn’t get jet legged too terribly. It was pretty entertaining! People were falling asleep standing up and mid bite, myself included. We normally go to bed at ten, no exception, but Allison and Brooke graciously let us go to bed a few hours early. I don’t even remember closing my eyes!

Today we went to our schools. Oh my goodness! I love these children with my heart and soul already! When we first arrived, they dotted us between our brows and threw flowers at us. I almost started crying (I know, hard to believe) because it was so dang cute. I taught body parts today (my subject is health) and it was so much easier than I anticipated! I thought I would have to read out of my notebook and do terrible, but I never had to open it once! The kids were really good, although they had a hard time paying attention when Dallin kept reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. At lunch the kids went downstairs to eat and we stayed on the roof where we ate our lunch. We watched monkeys run around a few yards away on the mountain, for about ten minutes. That’s how long it took the kids to finish their food and come looking for us. Once one came up, there was no stopping them. Before we knew it, all the kids were standing in front us expectantly. I suggested we play a game of freeze tag, which no one understood. I tried to demonstrate with Braden, but it didn’t work out very well. It eventually dissolved into me just chasing them all around until I caught one and I’d just tickle them until they were laughing their heads off. It was so much fun!!

I was so sad to leave them at the end of school and it's only been one day!! I can’t imagine how hard it’s going to be to leave them in a week! All my nerves and worries about teaching and playing with the kids dissipated the minute I saw their faces! It was so amazing seeing them do their prayers and sneak little glances at us when they thought we weren’t looking. Ugh I want to bring them all home! It’s so amazing how quick they’ve loved us and we’ve loved them! It was everything I expected and more! I love the way they giggle! I love the way they say my name wrong! I love their cute little faces! I LOVE INDIA!!