A Week To Remember (Kate O.)
Needless to say this week has been unforgettable. The aroma of cows, curry, and the mixture of everyone was once very foreign; I did not enjoy it very much at all. However, as this week has gone on, everything around me, the smell included, along with the people, the children, the remarkable scenery, the food, the school, and of course the ashram has become my home. I have fell in love with India and absolutely everything about it. As we came to the end to the fourth day in the school and ashram I have realized that my time here is flying by right before my eyes. I am not ready to come home but before I know it I will be missing the cows as they barge into my school, the burning smell of trash on the side of the road, but most importantly I will miss the little children I can now call mine.
Raj Naghar our school is no longer just a school to me. The first day we went in the children were calm and distant. They looked at us as if they saw right through us. They seemed nervous and knew just about no English at all. Each day there is a miraculous change. The difference between one day and the next is night and day. Each day they become a crazy amount more comfortable. They jump all over us and call us their friends. They are learning our names and using the English that we teach them the day before. They are becoming our friends and we are creating bonds that will last a lifetime. I have found my two favorites. The two little girl’s names are Buhmika and Jiya. Buhmika has the sweetest smile and sweetest personality. I always find her at my side holding my hand, attempting to say my name, “Cat”. She is the best listener and absorbs everything we teach her. It is a miracle how quickly she picks up what we are saying. Jiya on the other hand, is a little stinker. But, for some reason my heart has reached out to her. Her little hand, which hasn’t been washed in days I’m sure, always finds her way in mine. With the language barrier I have been exposed to a new kind of love. Her laugh, smile, and the way she reacts when teaching her warms my heart. Each day when I say goodbye she is jumping all over me yelling “byeee byee byee” over and over again. I cannot imagine saying goodbye one last time knowing that that goodbye could most likely be forever.
This afternoon was the cultural exchange. We performed in front of 400 students along with the District Commissioner of Chamba. It exceeded all my expectations. The vibrant colors, the extravagant outfits of all the children, and all the performances were incredible. But most of all watching James bust out of his seat and perform a duet with an Indian boy truly made it unforgettable. WOW. What a performance. It was so great to experience first hand their culture through the power of dance and song. And of course Team Roshni owned the dance floor in return. And our singing topped every time we have sung before! After we had an out of control dance party with the Indian children. Not only did this cultural exchange make my day, but it has made the trip one hundred times more unforgettable! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store.