Something Entirely New

Sam Robbins

For being my first time out of the USA, it is the most amazing, changing, and beautiful thing someone could experience. My first take of India when landing was the airport and surrounding city which was loud, dark, dingy, and very trashy to me. The air was thick with smog and the cars were inches away from us on the roads. (Mom my breathing is ok, just a little bad.) we made it to Nishtha the dark and immediately went to bed. It is HUH-mid and I mean it! The air is thick to breathe and it is constant hot and sweaty.

Ok my waking-up is for real a waking-up for me personally
I went outside to see the blue sky, green courtyard, and horns outside.(keep in mind, there is constant honking. Never stops.....ever...) I went and got breakfast which was very filling. I went outside and I was HIT...by a car! Not really but I did get hit with the most changing sight. Dense trees surrounding colorful 3-story buildings with no space between. Small ponds on each corner and on the sides of the roads. Flea-filled dogs running around and a constant stream of cyclists and Tata drivers. Constant honking. We walked down dirt/paved roads with homes, ruins, dogs, people and trash on both sides. We quickly learn that the left-side of the road is now your home. You get yelled at if you walk on the right. "Picktahs" are taken with people and us in front of a temple. We walk down the road and make it to a cleaning pond and just take it it. Houses and homes come right up to the edge and empty spaces are filled with dense jungle. A 3ft monitor lizard makes it's way across the water. Rest of the day is relaxing and preparing for the next because it is pretty much the only day we will have to sleep and relax.

1st day of the village and teaching was the most tender experience of my life so far. It literally could change at anytime this week. My teams village is called Dantalah and the kids meet at the Day Boarding School. (Which is where the girls meet later and all the teams teach) the room is separated by age and gender. A mix of boys and girls on the middle left mat and back left mat. All girls above the age of 9 on the closest left mat, and all boys 9 and up on the far left mat. Abby does an amazing job and leads the team for the day. The rest of us fall in and help as much as we can. It is chaotic but so fun. I place myself In-charge of the boys and keep them as controlled as I can. The kick and hit each other just to discipline. One of the boys name is Sandep and he is the leader. He is quiet, knows a little English, and can quickly get the boys to focus in 3 seconds. Me and him become friends and he helps me with the boys by participating and showing the boys when the don't understand what I'm teaching. He teaches me some Bengali like Kola-kola are bananas, challo is come here, danne vad is thank you. Before I leave a little kids hands me a picture of me he drew and it is adorable. After we teach we go on the village tour which is extremely fun. We enter a tiny village with mid roads 3ft wide and banana trees everywhere. We go into a house and are fed by a woman who is the mother of a dancer. She is a very good dancer. All of the women are extremely good at Sahri making and are skilled at it. While in the home, people slowly start showing up and by the time we leave for the next house, we have half the village with us, having us hold their babies, kick a soccer ball, and tell us "jokes" we go to 3 houses that day and each stop gives us new food and 6 more villagers to follow us. Sandep lives in this village and we talk and joke around. Oh yeah, Constant picture taking. They always grad Michelle and saw "one Picktah" which actually means, "I want you to take 9 photos of me" when we leave, they all ask if we come tomorrow and we just say we will.

The girls school is a whole new story. To be a guy there isn't always the best because they wink, blow kisses, hold hands, and always pinch our cheeks. It's adorable but we gotta focus on teaching and they need to focus on learning and not us. Habiba is one of the olders and bounces between loving Me, Max, Sam, and Jonny. The day goes well and we successfully

teach the lessons. We go to their temple and we are with them when they do their prayers. We go back to Nishtha and collapse of exhaustion. I would not trade anything for this experience. It is so amazing here. I would highly recommend coming and experiencing their lifestyle, culture, and how happy they are. They are always so content, happy, and grateful. I really love the kids. Signing out now, I'll check and see if I can write again later. Enjoy the Utah snow!!