Dansa, India By Todd Adams

As I sit here on the edge of a cliff looking at the jagged snow capped Himalayas, I reflect on this last week of working in the village of Dansa with 5 of our YMAD teens, Rebecca, Ashley, Audrey, Karly and Noah.

I dare say I don’t think any of the teens on our purple team aspire to be elementary school teachers at this point. The unbelievable amount of patience that each of them have had with the children is truly inspiring and the biggest challenge challenge that our teens have faced in a long time. The biggest challenge is that the school children range in age from 3 years up to 10 years old. Most of the Dansa children have loved the lessons. But often the kids have been too busy smacking and pushing each other. You would think by now that at least the one english word that they would have mastered is NO!

Rebecca has been great at keeping the kids entertained. They have loved learning how to play the Kazoo from her and make paper plate shakers filled with beans. They also love her stories.

Karly has kept the children busy learning and singing the ABC’s. It seriously is some of the children’s favorite time of the day.

Audry – Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish. The children love playing this game with her. Audry’s feet have been a little sunburned and each time they touch her foot it leaves a white polk-a-dot. They keep asking her to play bubble gum.

Ashley has loved the interactions she has with the children during her class and play time. She always has a way to keep them entertained.

Noah – Of course the children love his hair. His type of curly long hair does not exist in India, especially on men. His energy is non stop. They boys love being spun around and around. Noah has been creative in his teaching. The kids will remember him for Playing “I spy with my little eye,” around the entire school yard.

As for me I have enjoyed returning to some of the familiar faces of last year. To have the children running up for hugs, runny noses and all. Some of the younger ones beg to be picked up, then bury their head into my shoulder and hang on so tight.

They money that our YMAD teens have fundraised has bought new shoes, warm track suits and upgrades to their school.

This group of YMAD teens has worked so well together. Watching them all grow and change oer the last 10 months has been an honor to have been a part of. Thank you YMAD teens and leaders for allowing me to be a part of the difference.

I am so thankful to my family for their understanding of my love of the people and children of India. In the words of one of the teachers from the village of Dansa: “We all welcome you to come here and teach our students. We are highly thankful to you for this kindness.”