Sorry in Advance by Madi Graham
I think this blog post might end up being something of a novel. I’ll probably write way too much and you’ll probably all hate me by the end. Actually, some of you might not even get to the end. I’m not the best with words but I have a lot to say. So that’s the reason for my title. Sorry in advance for the long post that might not even end up making sense. Here we go I guess.
India is amazing. I’ve traveled to a whole lot of places and this might be the most awesome I’ve ever been. And I don’t mean awesome as in the casual slang term that everyone throws around as a way to describe ice cream flavors and new pairs of pants. I mean I am literally awe struck. I am in awe. Jaw-dropping, intense, very real, not-talking-about-ice-cream-flavors awe. The mountains here are the most massive I have ever seen. They’re huge and they’re everywhere, and our hotel is smack dab in the middle of them. I honestly don’t know how to describe the mountains. We see them every day driving to and from our schools, not to mention every single time we step outside or look out a window, and I still am struck dumb every time I look. At home we live close to the mountains on the East side, so they look pretty big and you can see them just fine, and then as you look West you can see the whole valley and a slight glimpse of the mountains on the other side of the valley in the distance. Here you can only see about 4 mountains at a time because no matter where you’re standing in a building or which way you’re facing, you’re surrounded by mountains on every side, and they tower over you. I feel so small here. Actually I feel small everywhere. I’m a short person with small hands and small feet and short hair and small features. Normally I hate it. I don’t like being short I really really don’t. But here I am in India and I’ve never felt so happy being small.
I’m going to run out of time so I’ll move on from mountains to children. I love them. I love them I love them I love them. This is my third humanitarian trip working with children and it blows my mind every time I go somewhere new that I have the capacity to feel so much love and empathy to kids I hardly know. Today was our third day teaching, which means we’re halfway done. It breaks my heart a little bit to say that. But halfway is usually around when the kids start warming up to you. They aren’t as shy as they were the first day and you’re starting to grasp their names better, so that’s when the connection really starts to form. When we arrive at our school every day the kids scurry towards us to touch our feet and tell us “good morning ma’am” (or sir in the case of those who are sir’s). Our translator told us that in Hindi culture this is their way of blessing us. At the end of each day I’m exhausted and dehydrated and boiling hot and sweaty and I probably smell sooooooo bad but I never want to leave.
Mom: I’m alive and I’m healthy and I haven’t had any major health problems. Yesterday I woke up with blurry vision and that was weird but I’m good now. It was just a side effect of my motion sickness patch so it’s all been sorted out and I can see almost perfectly again now. My bowels are just fine. I miss the fam. I hope everyone’s good. I miss Brynley. I sort of miss Mr. Barton (my AP Calculus teacher) which is weird but hey what can ya do. Thanks for letting me be here and for teaching me the importance of education and being a good person. I’m lucky to be here. While there are people and things that I miss there’s no place in the world I would rather be than right where I am. Namaste!