Brooke Larsen

It’s hard to know where to start because so much has happened. We do so much every day but yet the days seem so long. Everything has been such an unreal experience so far, sometimes I feel like it’s just something set up for us. Yesterday we went to our village for a second time and I already feel like we’re communicating with the girls better. Sometimes the language barrier is hard but you can tell they love us because they wait by the window in the morning for us to come and were all standing up yelling good morning when we came in. It’s hard to describe the feeling when people are so excited to see you and so grateful for you when they’ve only barely met you. Me and David did an activity together where we made bracelets and we were only supposed to pass out one to make for all the girls but then they started making them for us and putting them on our wrists so how could we not give them another one? After we taught our workshops in the village school we had a chance to walk through the village again. This village block stopped us and asked us to sit on mats on their porch and told us how thankful they were. The block maintained a high rate of early marriage so they were especially grateful for the work we and Nishta are doing. We sang our “Buddha” song for them and it was somewhat overwhelming seeing all these people whose names I didn’t even know so grateful for our work. As we were walking through the village, a woman stopped me and held my hands in gratitude, but I couldn’t understand what else she was saying. It was so tough seeing someone who was so thankful and not being able to understand what she was saying or communicate back to her.
So much happened yesterday. We also went to Mimi and Minami’s grandparents’ house and they were so kind and generous it was overwhelming seeing more people who just met us that were still so grateful. Their house was beautiful and they had a huge garden with grapefruit, guava, and other fruit growing. I just wanted to venture out and explore and never leave. We chose our fabric yesterday and everyone said the first one I chose looked just like me so I kept it. It was orange and purple, and everyone’s fit their personality perfectly. Night is hard because we are all so tired but the prospect of making a difference tomorrow and seeing the faces of the children keeps us going.