Brenna's Ten Things About India

1- The Kids- I fell in love with these kids the first day we taught them. They are so bright and eager to learn. We may not be able to sit and have conversations with them, but we have so much fun playing games and teaching each other. They love to try to teach us Bengali just as much as we love to try to teach them English. The best part of the day is coming back from our village tour and seeing all of them run up the walk to us calling our names and smiling ear to ear. I wish I could bring them all home with me.

2- The Food- I loved the food at first. It is still good but just the same thing over and over. Most people in the group are sick of it at this point. Many of us are living on Nutella, peanut butter, crackers, and other junk. A common topic of conversation is the first meal we are going to eat when we get home. For me that will be a good old McDouble! I hope I never have to eat another cucumber, carrot and potato sandwich for lunch.

3- The Driving- The only way I can think of to describe what the driving is like is the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. I just about had a heart attack the first time we took a drive. They definitely make use of their horns here. I feel like we are playing chicken half the time. I’m not exactly sure but I think the rule is the biggest car has the right of way.

4- YMAD family- I was a little nervous about coming to a foreign country with a group of people that I didn’t know that well, but we all bonded so fast. I honestly feel like we are a family. I’ve never become such close friends with anyone so fast in my life. I love the late night girl talks we have in the girls room, and the family meetings we have before we go to bed.

5- Village Tours- After our morning school kids leave Hari Podda (Harry Potter) and our other translators take us on village tours. We get to see where some of our students live. They welcome us into their mud and bamboo homes and give us food. I have never been so thankful for my home in my entire life. These people have very little, yet they are so happy.

6- The Staring- I’ve never turned so many heads in my life. I guess I would stick out as a 5 ‘ 9” blonde girl in a country full of Indians. Not to mention I’m going around with a whole group of good looking white people. The people do stare at us a lot, and sometimes it’s a little creepy, but I just have to remind myself that they aren’t use to white people raiding their villages.

7-Nishtha- The place we are staying is nice compared to the rest of the village. It’s no Hilton but we have beds, toilets and showers. The power goes out once or twice a day, but other than that its great.

8-The Weather- I am definitely not in Utah. It is very hot and humid. Every chance I get Marti and I try to get a sun tan. I am glad we came when we did cause it is post monsoon season. I guess the flooding during monsoon is pretty bad here.

9-The Air- I already mentioned the humidity, but mix that with the heavy pollution. The air here is terrible. They burn everything and it smells really bad. some parts more than others. Fabreeze has never come in handy so much. I can’t wait to breathe fresh air when I get home.

10- The Animals- The first day here I saw a guy riding an elephant down the street. My first night I woke up to a mouse crawling over me. There are stray dogs all over, and there are cows everywhere. I have also seen monkeys and goats. I didn’t see it but everyone else saw a huge lizard yesterday at the school.