India is a Love Song - Farah Hamouda

These past few days have been so eventful! From monkeys stealing our food to saying goodbye to the YMAD girls my final days in India have been remarkable. I woke up one morning to learn that monkeys had stolen our bananas and bread. I honestly thought Raj was playing a joke on us but it turned out to be true. How crazy is that? Monkeys would have never stolen our food back home! The most exciting thing that happened this weekend was the cultural exchange. The night before we practiced our dance and song nonstop! That really payed off because when we performed we gave it our all, FOUR times! We visited my village team’s school first. The school is named ‘Dula’, it is the cutest little school you could ever see. When we first arrived at our school we were greeted by kids waiting to give us hugs and kisses; the other village groups were surprised by how affectionate our kids are. We sang ‘Best Day of my Life’ and the staple YMAD song, ‘One Day’. After that we danced to ‘Baby’ by the one and only Justin Bieber and had a dance party with our kiddos afterwards. It was so much fun! After our school we visited two more before having lunch at the YMAD house. At the house we saw even more monkeys! Two monkeys were swinging on a swing that a family had on their roof, it was so funny! After lunch we headed to the last school where we were shown a grand performance! The kids at Ashley’s school really outdid themselves. They had about four dance performances and followed that with a song. We really had to step up our game!

After visiting all of the schools I realized that our school was the smallest by far! Our kids also weren’t as well dressed and groomed as the other children from the other schools. Despite all this, our kids seemed to be the happiest and the most affectionate. I am constantly surprised by how happy these kids are despite their circumstances. They never complain about pain, even if they have an entire tooth that has decayed. They are always eager to learn and they make you feel so appreciated! We gave the children at the school new sweaters and shoes and they thanked us all repeatedly. Tomorrow is our last day teaching which means we have to say our goodbyes. It makes me sad knowing that I may never get to see these kids again but I am forever grateful for the memories that we have made together. 

Yesterday we traveled further up the Himalayas to visit Mt Khajjiar, a.k.a. Little Switzerland. On our way there we visited the temple of Shiva. It was almost as breathtaking as the drive there. Inside the temple we were blessed and given puffed rice that tasted a lot like black licorice. Afterwards we went to Little Switzerland where you can ride horses, hold bunnies, get inside a giant ball and roll down a hill, and pay to use the restroom! The thing that surprised me most was paying to use the restroom because that is something that I am not used to! And they make you pay more if you have to do number 2! That’s crazy! Today we said our goodbyes to the sweetest girls I have ever met. The YMAD girls are now my lifelong friends and I hope I get the chance to see them again someday! Wednesday morning we leave for Dharmsala so this will be my last blog. India is amazing and I 10000/10 would recommend to a friend. It is my favorite love song!

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