Stylin  By Macey Orth

On Sunday we travelled to khajjiar. It was about an hour drive. The scenery on the drive was so pretty. The mountains here are HUGE! They make Utah mountains look like little baby hills. Pictures don’t do them any justice. 

First, we stopped at a Hindu temple and got a safety blessing from a Hindu priest. The blessing included a handful of puffed rice, a bhindi, and a string bracelet tied around our wrists. After that we drove to little Switzerland. It is so beautiful there! There is beautiful green rolling hills, a pond, a bunch of sheep, cows, bunnies, and a little shop. It was a really nice, relaxing place to walk around. People would still stare at us and sometimes ask to take a picture with us. For lunch we went to a restaurant in little Switzerland that served us some kind of Indian-Chinese food. It was really good and they even had FRENCH FRIES! I forgot how much I love them and it was good to have a little taste of home that wasn’t goldfish or Nutella. 

On Monday we finally got to go back to the schools after not teaching for three days. It was refreshing to be back playing with the kids again. I got to do my favorite dances with my little fifth graders during lunch. They are so sweet teaching me all the moves even though I look terrible doing them. After school we went to the YMAD house and played games with the YMAD girls. After that they did henna on all of us. They are so talented and so fast! The palm of my right hand is stylin. 

Today, Tuesday, was our last day in the schools. My team has been working on being present in the moment and enjoying our time with our kids. I think that we all did really well today. Our lessons were pretty short so we spent a lot of time playing with the kids. A few of them knew that we had to say goodbye later so they told us not to be sad. Some were singing the song we sang to them on Saturday, count on me. It was adorable! In the morning the teachers pulled us out of our classes to give us gifts. They gave us marigold necklaces and chamba hats. We were really stylin at that point. Then they brought us into their office and gave us this curry Indian fry bread and some chai tea. It was all really good and I am so grateful for the generosity from the teachers and the students. I am so lucky to have the school that I do. 

At the end of the day we gave everyone school kits, hygiene kits, homemade ymad bracelets, and homemade penny necklaces. We sang count on me one last time and then said our final goodbyes. Tears were shed but we all tried to focus on the difference we made in these children’s lives. As Kathryn reminded us, it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

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