Bheetar Se Bahaar (Inside Out) - Payton
I was actually supposed to write this blog 2 days ago and Coleton gave the leaders the heads up. It has gotten to the point where the leaders have told me that I can’t eat until I get this done so here it goes. Ah, man… India. India continues to amaze and I still wake up every morning waiting to experience something new. Every day has been different and we have been here for over a week. To be honest I have had more fun in this short period of time than I have had the first 17 years of my life. I am really serious. The people that have I have been surrounded with, the leaders, and the school kids are making it so, so hard to leave. I had the extraordinary opportunity to spend the final day at the village schools on my birthday. It was a day filled with almost every kind of emotion. I felt happiness, sadness, fear, and anger.
Happiness because when I saw how happy the kids are without cell phones, T.V.’s or even different outfits for everyday of the week. There were kids who wore the same exact shirts the entire time we were at our schools. It was gut-wrenching. There was one child at a village school that didn’t have a dad and her mom literally couldn’t function. She lives in a tin shack by herself off the side of the road. She doesn’t have electricity or a job to pay for food or clothes. She’s never brushed her teeth, never showered, or ever seriously had anybody love her in such a way we have. She goes to school because she knows that she will get food there. She is taking the word survival to a whole new level. We have been treated super nicely by the natives and we have been fed 3 times a day and to tell you the truth we are being spoiled. We are working very hard but we are eating more than most people in India do. It tears my heart to know that there are people out there that could use the food more than I definitely could. It makes me happy when I see these people happy. No amount of money of gifts could make me feel happier than the feelings I got on Monday.
I’ve felt sadness because I had to leave the kids maybe forever. That fateful day on April 3, 2017 was one of the saddest day of my life as well as the happiest day of my life. Seeing the kids cry because they knew that we weren’t coming back destroyed me. It made me feel so sad. I haven’t cried in a long time and on Monday I cried just like my step-mom Debbie (she’s a huge crier). Knowing that I tried my best to teach these kids my lessons and that I was really making a difference turned the sadness to happiness.
I felt fear because there was the thought in the back of my head that these kids might not ever improve their lives no matter how much we can teach them. There were definitely moments when I would be teaching where that thought would keep creeping inside my head. It was motivating me in a way but at the same time making me scatter-brained so I would know what I was talking about. The thought still creeps into my head today.
I was angry because I felt like I could have improved in some way or another. Whether it be preparing better for lessons or loving the kids more or helping out with other team members. I felt like the kids were really happy with the way things were going. There have for sure been some moments that will stick with me for the rest of my life. The feelings I have felt make me want to do YMAD again.
We arrived in Shimla 2 days ago and the hotel we are staying at is arguably better than any hotel I have stayed in the United States. The food is awesome we can go shopping pretty much whenever we want. The beds are amazing and I can now say I have had fried chicken in India. I can also say that I have bought shoes in India. I can now take hot showers which is a plus. We did yoga yesterday and that was a blast and today we walked up to the monkey temple. Which is at the highest peak in Shimla and in the front of the temple there is a pink statue of the monkey god that is like at least 40 feet tall. This trip has been an absolute blast and I’m going to say this again, I don’t want to go home.