Lots of Things - Gaven
On Monday I said goodbye to the 20 amazing kids who have changed my life. It was a total bummer to see them leave, but it was awesome to know that they were leaving with hope in their hearts and in their backpacks—we gave them education supplies, hygiene kits and other things. These kids have taught me so much, far more that I could ever teach them in a matter of a few days—especially since I’m no teacher. This experience has been so surreal, so eye opening and just downright life changing, as cliche as that all sounds its 100% true, I’ve never felt so many different emotions, had so many experiences or seen such beautiful sights and people in such a short amount of time. Every night at dinner one of the leaders gives out a little card with a quote on it, and a few days ago we had a quote that I think really applies to a new perspective that I’ve gained on this trip, “Being happy isn’t what makes us grateful, being grateful is what makes us happy.” That couldn't be more true. Trying to find ways to please ourselves doesn’t makes us happy, showing appreciation, simply being happy with what we have is what brings us happiness. Those kids have an amount of gratitude that I can’t comprehend, they have so little yet they are so content with their lives. That is something that I can defiantly work on, and thats why this experience has been so good to me, its given me perspective, inspiration, and increased desire to serve.
To my awesome parents and family who I am missing for sure, I am doing well and am taking lots and lots of pictures(~2100 to be exact) so thats pretty cool I guess. We are currently in Shimla at a hotel that actually has showers and a mighty population of super-sized spiders, so darn no more bucket showers and the daily spider slaying. I’ve been lucky enough to not have had to deal with illness and such so far—shoot just jinxed myself—other than the occasional excessive gas—I may have ripped a few while writing this. With only a few days left I’m getting pretty bummed, not sure that I’m ready to leave just yet. I’m in love with the simplicity over here, it has been nice to unplug from my phone and get to see how you can connect with people without texting them—apparently the whole talking to people thing actually works, who woulda guessed. Long drives through some of the most beautiful mountain ranges, near head on collisions with buses and wandering cows in the middle of the road never cease to either blow my mind or scare me out of it.
Before all this, service to me honestly had somewhat of a negative association. Yes that sounds terrible but whatever, but having the opportunity so serve my kids brought me feelings that I’ve never felt before. Even after being completely drained by lunch after teaching the kids how to skip, jump, what things are smooth and what are bumpy, and what a pharmacy is, all I wanted to do was get back up and keeping on running around with those kids who seem to have limitless energy. I’ve found and felt the true spirit of service through this and I don't want to loose that.
Just a quick thank you to the leaders of this expedition. I couldn’t have asked for a better set of leaders to give me the opportunity to come to India to serve and connect with people who I’ve never met and don't even speaking the same language as. They’ve done an amazing job keeping us comfortable and making sure we are physically and mentally healthy. Love you all! Miss you all! See you in 5 days!!