Ami tomake bhalo basii

Where to begin? First, I would like to apologize to my family for being such a mess when I called tonight (this morning?). Right before I called, we had a great meeting with everybody and I had also just read your letters. I guess I just didn’t realize how much I missed you guys. I promise that I have not been a mess. On the contrary, I have been so super great...it’s kind of amazing how I haven’t even missed home until I read your letters and heard you on the phone. I am having such an amazing time. Also, I want to tell Sarah how much I am understanding the things you have told me about India. Even though I’m in Baruipur, not Chamba, it seems like many things are similar. I also forgot to tell you thank you for your note. It meant so much to me, you can’t even imagine. It’s pretty simple but I have read it many times.

On Tuesday, we were walking through the village that we teach by and visiting some of the homes. So many people follow us around and we usually have a crowd when we are coming to and from houses. We always say hello to all the little kids and wave and sometimes they don’t react but most of the time they do. Anyway...here I am, walking along this little dirt trail in between a couple of huts and the cutest little girl comes around the corner with her even smaller sister and they’re both carrying little pails. They weren’t looking at me but I smiled at them and said hi. I seriously scared the you-know-what out of them and the girl screamed with the look of death on her face and ran away. Her little sister became terrified, turned around, started to run, tripped, and dropped all of her food. In a blink of an eye. It was the saddest and funniest thing I have ever seen. I wanted to help but since I was apparently a death threat, I didn’t come any closer and one of the girls that we teach helped her up. Other than that...the people are extremely fascinated by us and they love saying hello. They also ask us, “how are you?” and then almost immediately say, “I’m fine” without waiting for us to ask them in return.

In our village schools, we don’t get to spend as much time as we do with the Day Boarding School girls. (Sorry to everyone who has already heard me talk about this). But on Wednesday, we decided to play a game with them. They loooved it. We played the blob game where you call out a number and they have to get in a group of that number and I could tell that they were a little shy about all the hugging, holding hands, and embracing but they became increasingly used to it. After we were done playing that game, we sat back down in our classes and the girl sitting next to me got my attention and she said to me “I am happy.” This brought so much joy to my heart. I have always had the idea that happiness lies in the eyes of the beholder. This idea is now a fact. These girls leave in the poorest conditions I have ever witnessed. It doesn’t matter what situation you are in or what your story is, you can find happiness. That feeling will never leave me as long as I remember that 11 year old in Baruipur that was happy.

Thank you to everyone who donated, supported, and helped me to come here. Your money and love is doing amazing things. I wish you could see the difference it is making. I’m sorry for all the cheese, folks but I am seriously having the most epic time that anyone could ever have. I am loving every second of it and I have a hard time going to sleep at night - not because of the bugs, giant spiders, mice, or car honk, but because I don’t want to the day to end because I want this experience to last the longest it can. To my family and everyone else, (I don’t know how to spell it, but I’m going to make something up) Ami tomake bhalo basii (I love you).
Mary Diamond