Unconditional Love - Gracie Mae Smith

Unconditional Love

Everyday I wake up I think I know what to expect that day. But at the end of everyday I learn that I couldn’t be more wrong. The kids teach me something new everyday; The ymad girls and the kids at Dulla (our school and also the name I’m using for my first female dog). Whether it’s teaching me to be more selfless or teaching me about the importance of loving unconditionally, the lesson always applies to my life. The days go by speedy fast but it still feels like I’ve been gone for quite a while.


After a full week of teaching we had a little break on Saturday.  In the morning we started out cultural exchange. Instead of gathering all together with all the school we traveled to each school to preform our dance and songs. Luckily we started the day at our school, Dulla, so everyone had a lot of energy. By the end of the day though we were all moving at a much slower pace. It was so rewarding to see each school and how each teenagers face lit up when they saw their kids. Almost everyday someone has to say “My kids are the cutest!” And now I see where they are coming from but I still think my kids are the cutest by a long run. Some of the schools had some numbers prepared for us but our school didn’t. I couldn’t even a imagine our kids having enough self discipline to pull something off like that. Our school is probably the poorest but the kids are still their happiest selves. I am dreading for when we have to part.


It is really difficult being so thoughtful (joke) because when we went to the market on Saturday I was so stressed about what I was going to get my family. I was thinking so hard about which item would be perfect for each family member. I still have shopping  left to do in Dharmsala so the stressing is not over yet. James, Jed, George, and Dot I may have to keep some gifts for myself because I did not get a thoughtful note from you tsk tsk! Mom and dad the letters were exactly what I needed. I am so excited to see you all but at the same time i think I could stay here forever teaching these sweet kiddos.


YMAD provides housing, food, comfort and lots of love for 10 little girls. They leave their homes and live in the YMAD house so that they can receive a better education. These girls are so incredibly sweet and selfless. I will especially never forget one girl names Pooja. She has stuck by my side all of this week. I have learned so much from her. On Saturday we had a movie night and all of the YMAD girls got some popcorn. Pooja insisted that I eat the popcorn before her. She was only thinking of me. Each night we all receive quotes from a leader. The quote that Zippy gave out one night has been so applicable to thus trip. It says, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” I know that these lessons that these girls are teaching me are going to be carried on into all of my life experiences to come. I love these girls so much and and am going to miss them greatly. My heart is so full yet breaking all at the same time. Tonight we had to say goodbye to the girls and we exchanged pictures. Pooja wrote me the sweetest letter that ill treasure forever. I can’t wait to show you all.