I Still Can't Believe It

India is something else. I love my Jazba team so much, and I can't believe I'm really back here after 3 years. I have dreamed about coming back to India since the last time I was here with my Shaanti team. I love it. Kullu is so much different from Jibhi. There are so many people, so many buildings, and so many cars all close together. We also visited Manali and did some hiking and shopping. It's been so much fun to be in Raj's home town.

I got to see two of my translators from last time I was here, Zinnia and Ritika! Ritika is translating again, and Zinnia lives in Kullu. It was so much fun to see them both again. I love them so much!

Meeting the kids was amazing. They gave us lei's and flowers and welcomed us with excitement, and the teachers are so nice! All day long they are making sure we have mats on the ground for the kids and a little pillow seat for us, and they bring us soda and cookies periodically throughout the day. The kids are SO smart and so willing to learn. They pick up on everything so quickly. They know all of their letters, so when they don't recognize a word right away they spell it out, and when there is a double letter, like in the word cheese, they don't say "c-h-e-e-s-e", they say, "c-h-double e-s-e" and it is my favorite thing! I love teaching them. When we're done teaching, we play lots of games with them. At the end of each day, they follow us up to our car and stand by the windows waving goodbye and blowing kisses. Today they even chased the car down the street. I don't know how I'm going to say goodbye to them. I will never be able to fully express how amazing it is to feel so much love for so many people in such a short amount of time from all the way across the world. I wish we had more time with them, but we so happened to be here during a week they have two holidays, so we miss out on two full days of teaching and interacting with the kids. But to look on the bright side, we also get two full days of experiencing India. 

I spent today doing 29 eyesight, blood pressure, and heart rate exams instead of teaching. All of the kids would try to tell the student whose vision I was examining what the right answer was. They also loved to crowd around and laugh when I was trying to listen for their blood pressure. It was exhausting, but I enjoyed every second of it.

I also think I've finally got most of their names down too! 

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be here and to be apart of YMAD, and I'm thankful for my friends and family back home who have been so supportive of me. I miss my friends and family, but I also don't want to come home. 

Atalee