An Update from Jeff and Jane
Dear Moms and Dads, I know you already realize this but just to back you up on it, your kids are fantastic! What an amazing team Expedition Akata has become. And it is all because these kids of yours are the best! The travel to get to India is no small thing and is very demanding. Jane and I can usually tell what we are "in for" by the end of the first leg of travel. That first short leg and the remaining four long legs were smooth sailing! Time and time again as we passed each hurtle of the trip Jane and I would comment to each other that, "that went a lot easier than I thought it would!" Landing in Kolkata and getting out of the airport has been a major shock to the system in the past, but with the opening of the new clean, fresh smelling, bright, airport in Kolkata the transition to India was easy and smooth. One of the girls mentioned that "You had me so scared but that was so easy and not scary at all!" I guess that "Over prepared is better than under prepared." After a quick nights nap, we were off to meet the girls of the Main Day Boarding school. As a leader, this is one of my favorite days. To see the smiles and excitement on the faces of the Indian school girls is always tender and fun but it is nothing in comparison to the the smiles, excitement, tears and out pouring of compassion and love Jane and I see in the faces of your teens. Your teens spent their first day in India playing and getting to know the girls of the main day boarding school and have imprinted in their hearts the faces and spirits of a hundred Indian school girls. Today we easily slipped into our teaching schedule. In the morning your teens teach english and life skills in four of the rural villages of Baruipur, next they tour the neighborhoods and homes of their students and have an opportunity to meet and be thanked by their students parents. Next we all gather at the Main Day Boarding School for a quick lunch and begin our teaching of the Nishtha school girls. In the evening there is time for some shopping, journal writing, dinner (Yeah curry!) and of course blogging! Our days are very long and very hard. Our nights are very short but luckily the only thing hard about them is the floor we sleep on! Your teens are working very hard but are having a wonderful time. They are happy, up beat and a lot of fun to be with. Two of my favorite teen quotes are. "I am happier than I have ever been!" and "This was the greatest day of my life!" Yep! believe it, that's your kids. They have been gracious and helpful to those around them and only every now and then have they needed to be reminded to clean their room or clear their dishes. Your teens are off to a great start. This week will include more teaching days, a day excursion, a work/service day, a cultural exchange day and, Jane and I are expecting to be amazed!
I think we have the internet dialed in so expect regular updates from your teens.
Jeff and Jane