Bandhu or Bust

 YMAD 2018 Operation Bandhu

YMAD 2018 Operation Bandhu

Bandhu or Bust

By Kylee Rasmussen

Operation Bandhu is a go!

March 9th marked the official beginning of our team with a retreat full of amazing lessons, fundraising brainstorms, getting-to-know-you games, good food, and very little sleep.

I for one, had little idea about where we were going before the retreat. I had done the simple Google search of West Bengal after getting accepted into YMAD and found that they were a poor country on the Northeast side of India, but the problems lie much farther beneath that. During the weekend we learned about the extreme circumstances people live in in West Bengal and how important what we are doing really is.

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If we work hard the next few months then we will be able to go and help little girls who not only need help with their English, but a sense of value and self-confidence. Giving them this can help them avoid things like human trafficking, becoming child brides, or simply getting a job. I found a new appreciation for YMAD at the retreat, and now know that we are going to be doing some pretty amazing things come November.

Friday night one of our leaders Jeff Cobabe talked to us about a few of the YMAD values. We learned about integrity and the importance of keeping our word and our honor. He also talked to us about vision and “life lenses;” how we can create a new vision for ourselves. We learned that we can create a vision that goes beyond what anyone else knows how to achieve. I know we’re all excited to continue learning the YMAD values and implementing them into our daily lives.

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Before we went to bed (or laid out sleeping bags and talked for another three hours) we were paid a special visit by YMAD members from past expeditions who shared their experiences and advice to make the most of our own operation. All of the past members shared stories about India that got us excited about going and told us that, even though it may be stressful, the fundraising is more than worth it and the more we put into the experience, the more we’ll get out of it.

One of the best things we did over the twenty-four hours we were together was pick a team name for our expedition: Operation Bandhu, which means Friend. Jane said later that this couldn’t be a more perfect name. The name Operation Bandhu will not only reflect the friendships we make within our team, but to the children in India we’re doing all this for. We also learned the song “One Day” which shares the meaning that we can all come together to one day make the world a better place.

The next eight months are sure to be chaotic, fun, and ーif we let it beーlife changing.

7 months 28 days and 7 hours till November 16th. We got this. Let’s get to work.