Alli Sessum

Alli picture We finally made it! After many long plane and car rides and even more sitting (totaling more than 35 hours and resulting in the most swollen feet I’ve ever had) we finally made it to Chamba! I honestly did not think we were ever going to make it, and began to worry when I ate half of my snacks before we had even arrived in India, but I knew all was well when our car finally came to a permanent stop. We got about 4 hours of sleep that first night and taught for our very first time yesterday. All my irritations and complaints seemed to fade instantly as I got to work with and meet these amazing girls for the very first time. They are so warm and accepting and eager to learn what we have prepared for them. The location of Chamba in the Himalayas is truly breathtaking! I can’t believe the greenery that surrounds us.

Last night was very rewarding when the team came together and discussed our highs and lows of the day. Everyone is working extremely well together and more importantly, having tons of fun! I even talked a couple of guys into doing tabata push-ups with me (that one’s for you Mike). We got a full night’s sleeps after another delicious, spicy Indian meal (don’t ask me what it was). Plus I’m getting the hang of using the squatters and bucket showers and our room has had no major plumbing issues or insect invasions, so I’d say life is good. When we awoke this morning, the temperature and humidity seemed much more bearable… such a relief. The girls arrived just moments after we finished breakfast and I got to experience welcoming them for the first time, receiving hugs and big smiles from each one—probably my favorite experience so far. I haven’t taught any of my lessons yet, but it has been so much fun helping my team members and witnessing how well things are coming together. I’m pretty sure I was doing something strange as a few of the girls kept giggling at me every time I spoke to them, but that’s the beauty of being here—we are here to laugh at ourselves while hopefully bettering the lives of the girls. These girls are truly the most genuine, pure souls and I’m honored to be able to work with them. I’m very excited to see what the rest of the trip has in store.