A Smile Fixes Everything - by Madeline Whetten
Each day here brings new surprises and adventures. Along with these wonderful and exciting adventures come trials. What is great about these daily trials is how much we are able to learn from them. Though the trials may seem big at the time, at the end of the day we always leave smiling and wanting to come back. On Thursday we forgot our flashcards. Our lessons that we teach are basically centered around these flashcards so it was a disaster at that moment. After a brief freak out we were able to pull ourselves together and improvise. The lessons actually became more personal and it ended up being one of our greatest days with our kids. I was so grateful for the months of training we had received that had prepared us for unexpected moments like this. At our school, I have the pleasure of working with an autistic girl named Hushbano. She is so amazing in every way but it is a challenge working with her. She is very distracted, doesn’t always comprehend what we are trying to teach, and often distracts the other students. Today she cut her finger with a dull pair of scissors while we were making bracelets. What was amazing to me was how calm she was and how willing she was able to receive help. She was up and smiling a couple minutes later. She never judges, never gets mad, never gets upset, she is always happy and will love you no matter what. I am so grateful that she has been a part of this experience for me. Although it may be rough at times, without her, it wouldn’t be complete. I feel like these trials bring us closer as a team and force us to be leaders and help each other out. What is so awesome about this trip is how much the good things outweigh the bad. Today at the ashram we made bracelets together and I probably have about forty of them going up my arm at this moment and every one was given to me by a different kid to show their love. Those are the little things that make all the difference. I couldn’t be happier with how things are. My group and my kids mean to world to me and at the end of the day that is all that really matters.