Christmas in India!

Wow, what an amazing adventure we are having.  It is truly a gift to be here in the Himalayas with the most amazing group of teens and leaders.  I still can’t believe I’m here.  YMAD has been a part of our family’s lives for the past 4 years and I’m so excited that I am experiencing it first-hand.  The teens in my Outstanding Orange team have been absolutely outstanding. ☺  Our village we teach in is called Seri.  We have a 20-minute drive straight up the mountain.  I’m definitely having the opportunity of overcoming my fear of heights.  I liken it to a real-life Indiana Jones ride.  We get to see cows and goats and monkeys along our ride.  The views are indescribable. To see villages spotting the sides of the mountains as far as the eye can see is truly incredible and such a wonderment. It’s such a joy to see these beautiful children greet us each morning and to hear their prayers and chants.  They are so smart and love the teens so much just after a few days.  The feeling are reciprocated of course towards them.

Here is a quick insight into each of the teens in our group

Emily L. – A joyful spirit. There is joy wherever Emily is.  She brightens every room, even our outside classrooms. So full of energy and love for all the children.  We were also blessed to share her 17th birthday here in India.  The children in our school all sang happy birthday to her and we had a great celebration at dinner with cake, a musical candle and presents and letters from home and Africa. I think it was a great day for her and us all.

Evan – Such a gentle giant.  The children love Evan and have been enjoying his lessons and having him throw them up in the air. They love his high, high fives and as a team we have enjoyed seeing his awesome dance moves.

Kallie – Kindness and love describe Kallie.  She has such a love for each of the children and her experience here in India.  “I love it, or I love this” can be heard throughout the day from Kallie.  The children love her back as well.  Her lessons are so fun and you can feel her sincerity in all that she does.

Mady E – Love & happiness best describe Mady.  She always has a smile on her face and has such a genuine love for others.  She is so sweet with the children and is so animated dancing with them.  She is happy to go with the flow and ready to be flexible on the spot with any needed change.  The children love Mady and are always giving her hugs and they share the sweetest smiles

Maddie P – Energy and happiness. Maddie is amazing with all the kids and her lessons.  She goes the extra mile in all that she does.  She has such an enthusiasm for teaching the children and in all that she does.  The children love her and shout Maddie Maddie whenever they go to her class. Today we celebrated Maddie’s 18th birthday.  It was so fun to hear the kids sing happy birthday to her, and they thought it was fun too to sing happy birthday a second day.  We had a special cake and firework candles and a present and birthday greetings from home.  Such a great day!

Sam – Calm and peaceful.  Sam has such a calm presence with the kids and our team.  He is always willing to help and although he’sthe “youngin” In our group he has great leadership characteristics and the children in our school love him so much.  He has gone on great bug finding expeditions and even got the principal to join in on the fun.

Our team is amazing and I love each of these great teens.  We are having a wonderful time learning, teaching and growing with each other.  They make me want to be a better person and I’m so grateful to be able to spend this time with them.  As parents, you would be so pleased with all they are doing.  They are great leaders, teachers, friends and human beings.

I’m so thankful today too that Brian and I could skype with our son Tanner, who has been on 2 YMAD expeditions.  He received his mission call today to Uruguay and another adventure will begin for him in July.  YMAD is the most amazing program and I couldn’t be more grateful or happy to be in Jibhi at this time.

RuthAnne Noel