So there was that time I was shopping with a cow...

By Tracie Scott

So cows are everywhere. Everywhere. On the road, walking all around town, in parking lots, on sidewalks, and in the market where you shop.  Trying to eat from the local vendors.  They are homeless cows. So the two times I have been in the market there has always been a cow, or two, or even three. Just hanging as if it were normal. Oh yah, it's India. It is normal.

So the other day I posed the thought to the group "What is your why?"  Why did you come to India?  Why are you doing what you are doing? The teens in Bandal knew immediately what my why was.  Priyanka.  She is a beautiful little girl.  And she has a medical need.  She has this goopy eye drainage all the time. Everyday. When examining her and asking her teachers (through our translator) how long she has had the drainage, they replied two years or more.  It gets so bad her lashes begin to stick together.  She has to try to wash her eyes often to get through the school day.  And this school has a water shortage where they run out of water often after filling up only one bucket full.  I met her father today and he was so delighted to here that YMAD is going to get her to an eye doctor to evaluate if she needs surgery for possible blocked tear ducts.   He does not have the money to get her to a doctor.  So we get to help.  She is my why.  
I came to India to quench a thirst to do Humanitarian aid.  I have wanted to do something like this for so long.  I am so elated to have made a difference for this one little girl.  My thirst has grown and I have found a deeper passion for serving, loving and Humanitarian aid.  

I have loved, loved, loved going to the schools to examine the children.  They are all so beautiful and wonderful.  I have spent more time in Bret's school, so I have seen those children more.  The love between us is so palpable.  One day I returned to his school after completing exams at another nearby shool.  When I walked in, one girl Asha immediately "chewed me out" we think, in Hindi of course. After her very animated rant I just replied "What?!?!?!" The children all erupted in laughter! I guess she didn't like it that I was gone. Oh, be still my heart.
 We were able to provide the school and children with much needed equipment and supplies. Each child also received a new pair of shoes and two new pairs of socks. When I arrived today they couldn't wait to point at their shoes to show me thier new shoes. Their joy was intoxicating. And their hugs. Oh their hugs! Leaving them today was so hard.  They stood in a line and hugged each one of us. Some children cried, it was excrutiating to say goodbye.

As hopefully most have read the other blogs, the teens have described India and our experiences quite well.  The smells, noises, traffic wonders, colors, scenery, plumbing, the people, the stray dogs, the food, the weather, the bus ride up the mountain everyday, Raj.  It is all true.  Crazy. Choatic. Wonderful. Beautiful. Overwhelming. Hard. Stunning. Exhilarating. Exhausting. Sweaty. Delicious. Intriguing. Different. But not so different. But oh so worth it.  I could really go on and on.

To my kids, I have my "I did it" list.
I survived the flight, and the bus ride.  To which dad said it was a good thing I slept through the bus ride. 
I used the potty hole and didn't fall.
I drank a Mountain Dew.
I am eating Indian food.
I tried lamb.  (Raj tried to tell me it was chicken, it wasn't. I still DON'T like lamb)

I have a million pictures. But I will share only a few.  The one with all the children was taken today as we prepared to leave.  I knelt down in the mud to gather them for a picture and they all swarmed me. I will title it "Where's Tracie?"

This has been the most rewarding and amazing experience. I have truly tried to soak in everything and live in the moment. I have loved being with the teens, being airplane mom and trip mom. They are all so great and so fun. I have laughed and laughed with each one of them.  I have loved the adults. They are family. My YMAD family.

 

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