Deja Vu...All Over Again

3rd trip to India...2nd to Jibhi...1st experience with this group...and yet it's amazing, wonderful, incredible, and humbling...just as each of the other experiences have been. It's Deja Vu...again! And it's so good.

This expedition team is wonderful, and my team is so so great. Seriously. We have gelled so tightly, so respectfully, so energetically, so lovingly. Paige "Smooth Peanut Butter" Burton, Hailey "H-Squared" Haslam, Hannah "JenkneJ" Jenkins, Brianna "BriO" Oglesby, and Brayden "Brass" Rasmussen. I'm so honored to be with them. They teach me, they inspire me, and they care for me. And you otta see them with these kids of India. 

But hey, all these kids in this expedition are great. They're truly beautiful people. Inside and out. And they're far beyond their years in maturity, intellectually, and in countless other ways. The only difference between them and me is in years. Well that and they're smarter than me. But no other differences. Except that they know what they want in terms of careers. And that's it. Well, and a few other ways. But that's it.

The leaders are special people. Brian and RuthAnne are sweethearts. Amy is a joy to be around. Jody is grounded and solid as a rock. And Lisa. Lisa is a gift to each of us. And this time in India is allowing each of us in this expedition to realize that more and more.

The energy of this expedition team is off the charts wonderful. All the time we've spent together, all the meetings we've attended, all of the off schedule time together...has led us to this point. A second family. A YMAD family. Something that each of us will always and forever have to keep us connected going forward. Well that, and Facebook. 

As leaders we tell the kids not to have favorites. And yet I have to admit...there's a little girl here who has me wrapped around her finger. And I have her wrapped and interwoven in my heart. Perhaps in part because she's the same age as my granddaughter, 3. Perhaps in part because she is so adorable. Perhaps it's because she's tender yet tough. Her name is Simu, pronounced like See Moo. Just look at her face, and I'm sure you'll see what I see.

Know though that Simu represents each and every one of the kids here. All the kids, not just the ones at my school, Hidav ("hit of"). Kids are who so happy, yet have so little. Hmmm...I wonder how that may apply to me, what I can learn from that? What Americans collectively may perhaps learn from that. 

Being here causes me to ask myself...why am I so blessed? What did I do to be born into my family and have a family of my own in the United States, and why wasn't I born into a family in India? Being with the humble and grateful and simple people of India reminds me how I can be more authentic in my connections with people, how I can more appreciate each person for their uniqueness, and especially how I can choose to be happy...regardless of situation or circumstance.

JimTim (Tim Scanlan)

P.s. Sarah, you had your mother in tears tonight. Keep up the great work. 🙏