It's Official...I'm in LOVE! By, Chloe Benton

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I have come to the conclusion that it's impossible for me to stop saying good things about India. It's impossible for me to stop feeling grateful. It's impossible for me to not want to be constantly hugging one of the beautiful Nishta women. It's impossible for me to stop wanting to cry every time we go to meals just because I see how much the cook loves and cares for us, and it's utterly, completely, absolutely impossible for me to stop my heart from overflowing with joy every time one of the Main Day Boarding School girls pinches my cheeks and yells "I love you!!".

Today was the first day in our villages, and the first day at the boarding school. It was everything I expected and absolutely NOTHING that I expected at the exact same time!! We rode to our villages in Tata's, and I feel like the most accurate way to describe driving in a Tata would be riding the "Indiana Jones" ride in Disneyland-lol. As for our villages, I won't say too much about them so as to not spoil the wonderful stories you will hear upon our return, but I will say this: although I may be the teensiest, tiniest bit biased...my village is for sure the best. ;-)

The little girls at the boarding school are SO FUNNY!! They are the absolute sweetest girls I've ever met. Every girl insists on being your "best friend" (exact words!!) and will not let you go once they have a hold on your hand or arm or hair or whatever part of you is in their hand!! Another constant in the boarding school is the phrase "I love you!! I love you!!" I've never been kissed and hugged and touched and stroked and tickled and kissed again and again and again more than I have today in my entire life!! They are so inspiring and make every person feel so loved. I wish I had the words to describe the gratitude I feel for them, and for my experiences today-and maybe someday I will find them-but for now I am left stunned and speechless and feeling so, so loved.

Although I may need to work on my teaching tactics, and have made a goal to maybe-kind- of-sort-of-hopefully SOMEDAY get the little girls to want to read instead of playing "ride that pony," and though I don't know NEARLY as much as Jane, (who knows absolutely everything, btw...I don't know HOW she knows, but she always does!! ;-) ) all I know is that Kolkata has my heart, and I have forever been changed for the better.

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