Always Retreat, but never Surrender.. Team Shakitmann January Retreat

This weekend we had an incredible time at our second retreat of the YMAD year. We started out the night by going through our lessons that we are preparing to teach in India. It’s been great being able to role play and practice with each other throughout the year so that our lessons go very smooth while in India. We took a break after a while and ate a yummy dinner and then started back up with our meetings. We practiced some of our musical numbers and was taught an incredible lesson on compassion by a member of YMAD, Greta. We did many exercises to learn compassion towards others and what it means to us. It was so inspirational, humbling, and so fun to learn about. It was such a beautifully prepared lesson that it left most of us softies in tears by the end. We then broke out of our meetings for the night and had such a blast. We started out with a talent show where everyone displayed some of the funniest, most creative, and inspiring talents. We had multiple musical acts, a story reading, a jump rope routine, some impressive dances, and a few comedy routines ranging from makeup tutorials, pie eating,and fast dabbing. It was a talent show none of us surely could never forgetWe played “signs” for hours, got henna done by one of our talented team members, played basketball, blasted music, had multiple dance parties, and countless snap chat videos that lead to constant, contagious laughter all night ( For real because we didn’t go to bed till 3:30 oops. ) The next morning, running on 3 hours of sleep, we began with breakfast and we were assigned our village teams. We were then presented with a team building challenge to build unity within our village teams, and some thrived, whereas others figured out what they need to work on as a group. After this activity we began to practice our lessons once again. Even from the night before we progressed in our skills to teach these lessons, and it made us even more excited for our expedition ( 53 days but who’s counting . . .) We then gathered and made adorable picture frames to give to the kids of India ( and yes of course we had a singing dance party while serving because why not.) We were then presented with a slide show of facts about India which made us squirm with excitement. We also received information about our flight plans and is soon became surreal that we are leaving on this expedition so soon! We finished by cleaning up, clearing out, and practicing our dance routine one last time. It has been amazing how hard everyone has worked so that we are able to gain the best possible experience from all of this. We are so lucky to have such amazing leaders and team members that all get along and have so much fun together. We are now all best friends and it has been such a blessing to be apart of YMAD!

 Village team shirts

Village team shirts

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