I Love My YMAD Pamily & Priends by Gabby Bergstrom

When I was 13, my sister Brooke went on an expedition with YMAD. The night she got home from her trip, I made a countdown for how many days until I could apply to go on an expedition as well. Needless to say it was quite a while. I eagerly waited for 4 years JUST to apply. I saw some cousins, friends, and my other older sister Maddie as they went & I just got more and more excited but impatient for my turn. It has all come full circle for me as I am now trying to summarize what this experience so far has been like in a short paragraph. I am trying my best to express everything that I have been feeling but it’s hard to when you’re running on like 5 hours of sleep and some pineapple juice (thanks Raj :’)!!) But truly, I can’t even explain how connected I feel to the kids in our school, even though I met them this morning. They are so bright and so willing to learn. I am so astounded by and in awe of these children and the copious amount of love they automatically showed us. They treat us as if they have known us their entire lives. I would enthusiastically go through the two sleepless plane rides, an 18 hour bus drive, and a really hot 10-15 minute hike if that meant I could hear their little giggles and see their excited eyes when they know an answer. I will never forget this life changing experience & through YMAD my vision has been shifted to see that there are SO many things that I can be grateful for. Starting with: 1. Raj. 2. Raj. 3. Raj. In summary, Raj is a wizard and coca cola is good and I think my heart exploded because small 6 year old Indian children are so cute when they try to say “family” because it comes out as “pamily”. I am happy. And also I get to see my kids tomorrow and as much as I think I’m prepared to teach them, they have already taught me 10 x more than I could have every prepared for.


Love you mom. Hehe ok bye.

PS. Thanks to Paige Case for trusting me with this huge adventure, I’m so insanely happy that when I told her about YMAD she impulsively decided to apply, cause this expedition wouldn’t be the same without her. I love you hehe.