Sometimes School Just Isn’t the Answer: By Zoe Brusa

Sometimes School Just Isn’t the Answer


Public service announcement, I’m never coming home (sorry fans). I definitely could have done without the 15 hour flight stuck between two random Indian men, but you know, you win some you lose some. The travel was brutal, but the drive from Amritsar to Chamba was breathtaking. Although I was in and out of consciousness (Dramamine was my best friend that day) my periodic glimpses of the mountainside and river valley were incredible. Chamba is settled between tall mountains covered in trees, and the bluest river runs in front of our hotel. Every morning when we wake up, we walk down to breakfast and are greeted by LOUD honking horns, cold air, and the flowing river. I braid everyone’s hair before we leave in the morning, and we send each other off with hugs and laughs. Our drive to the school is bumpy and winding, and the drivers are fearless. I will never again tell Lily that she’s a bad driver after driving in a car on the roads of India. 


My village team works at a school named Ludrera. The walls are painted pale yellow, and the color makes me think of my mom every morning when we arrive. I opened my heart day one, and now daily, the kids continue to steal pieces of my heart. The language barrier is frustrating, and being unable to meet their needs is difficult. As I channel the small amount of patience I have, I try to realize that they must be doing the same with me. Everyday is a mutual effort to communicate, learn, teach, and love. The kids range in age from five to eleven, in grades 1st through 5th. Our littles are eager to learn and love repeating every word I say; they are very touchy and like to kiss my face. The second graders are little trouble makers and test my boundaries way too often, but make me laugh all class long. Third grade, what a rambunctious group; they like to learn, but love to talk even more. Our fourth graders are total lovers, and never stop participating. The oldest kids are polite and BRILLIANT, and challenge me to create new lessons, games, and activities to keep them excited. Each day I leave the school loving them more and more.


Experiencing new cultures excites me, and I have loved learning the customs and practices of India. Before class everyday, the children recite group prayers, and I love seeing the dedication and passion they have for their religion. The food is bold and new, and I make an effort to try everything that is served each meal. My FAVORITE thing is the spiders the size of my face, and am definitely going to miss those when I get home. I can’t wait to squeeze my girls, friends, and family when I get home, and am beyond excited to share my beautiful pictures, stories, and love I have for Chamba. Happy Thanksgiving!! Eat some turkey, rolls, and pie for me!!!