Finally in India. The traveling to India is an experience one cannot forget. With a total of more than 24 hrs of airplane travel and a 6 hour car ride up the Himalayas dodging potholes, giant trucks, dogs and people, by the time our group arrived in Sundar Nagar 5 hours of sleep in a 3 day period was the norm among us. The shock of traveling through 3 countries in a few days hasn't quite hit any of us teens yet, and I personally haven't processed that I'm not in the Salt Lake Valley anymore.All of India contradicts itself. The garbage filled streets, rivers and even rooftops decorate the land, while fog-topped mountains and colorful architecture stand just a photograph away. The food is sweet, spicy, salty and tangy all in one bite. And most surprising off all the people here have so little, but are content. Our whole group has agreed that the biggest smiles we see are here, even while many of them are toothless. Today was our first day at the school, so I don't have much to blog about the kids. I can honestly say that saying goodbye will be one of the hardest things ever. At first the kids were very shy and confused with us. This was frustrating because we have all heard so many stories of the past groups being attacked by the children and being loved right away. JoDee explained to us later that this is the first time YMAD has been to this area, which made this easier. After a few hours the kids loosened up though, especially with the introduction of new games. Duck duck goose turned into "duck duck poose" or " duck duck DUCK" or even just "............duck". After the regular schools we went to the blind and deaf school which was one of the greatest experiences. It was amazing to see these children cut off from communication thrive because of their comfort and excepting attitudes that they have challenges. They were very fast learned and were far more creative than I was as a 6-12 year old. They always had a smile on their face, even when they were bare foot on ice temperatures concrete with broken windows surrounding their living space which is inspiring to me. Overall it was a great first day of teaching and it can only. Go up from here. You will here from me again next Monday.
- Calvin Cook
P.S. Thanks mom and dad for making sure my stuff fit into the duffle bags I forgot to thank you. Thanks j for scorch trials.