I'm Home, by Katie Winegar

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This is my second year participating in YMAD, and I am living and loving every single second that I get to be back in the place I keep closest to my heart! The first couple days back have been phenomenal.

I have already gotten to see many kids from Bolobasha (the special needs school) and have loved getting to hold them and feel their indescribable love along with all of the women of Nishtha. They have the purest hearts in the world but go through more than you could ever imagine. Today was a very special day for me.

I am on the purple team with Ami as my leader and we got the opportunity to open another new village this year! Which means YMAD has never been to that village to teach before. It was an amazing experience feeling the gratitude the people in our village had and also the gratitude we had towards them for welcoming us in as if we were already family.

In our village we got to visit a house of a woman who is involved in Nishtha. My heart sank as she looked me in the eyes and told me that she and all of the women in Nishtha try their hardest to stop child labor and child marriage to protect their own children and the children of those around them. It is so humbling and heart aching to have realized that this woman has personally experienced and witnessed these horrible circumstances.

Today was also my first day back at the Day Boarding School. Anxious to see if all of the girls I fell I love with last year were still there, safe and healthy. I walked in to where they were sitting and a flood of little girls who had stolen my heart came running towards me. Including one very special little girl named Rubina.

Finally being able to hold them in my arms again was something I can't even explain. I got emotional and started to cry. But it wasn't long until they brushed the tears off of my cheeks with their little hands as I explained to them that they were happy tears. The first day was packed full of overwhelming emotions. These emotions have and will motivate me to love harder than ever before, give more of me than there is to give, and impact more than imaginable!

To mom and family: I love you so much and I am so happy and healthy! Happy early Thanksgiving from me and all the kiddos hear in India:)

To team Sukhi (last years YMAD team): I have given all of your precious babies the tightest hugs and kisses an have told them I love you from you guys in America! They all miss you and they are all safe, happy, healthy, and as energetic as ever! :)

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