Deep thoughts during car rides... Paula Plazas

_JKC5280 Blog number 2! Mom, dad, Haleigh! Still doing good and going strong! I want to share a couple thoughts I had on my car ride to the boarding school for cultural exchange. I read this blog when I was deciding to do YMAD or not, so I hope if anyone who is questioning on joining YMAD I hope this will help a little.

On our drive I was sitting in the back of the tata looking out the window thinking of me and Calvin's talk the night before about how we thought India would be like and how it's nothing we imagine. It reminded me back to when one of my friends mom asked me "why India? It's so dirty!" At the time I didn't know how to respond and if she were to ask me again I would have a response but not a very good one because talking and trying to explain this trip doesn't come close to living this experience but I can give it a shot. When I look out the window I could see trash on the roads and dirty ponds so yes it can be dirty. When you look past that and look a little deeper into India you can see the beautiful place that India is. The loving people, the bright clothing, the culture! It's truly is amazing. When I first got here it felt like being in a different world but now I call Nishtha my home! And I don't want to leave home! The people here don't have a very good image of how we live back home but back home we knew that there is poverty here. You would think us back home would be more grateful for what we have. The people I met here are happy with the little things they have in life. So I guess if someone were to ask me, why India? Why put so much effort for 9 months for only 2 weeks? Why be put so far out of my comfort zone? My answer would be because I have learned more in the past week then I have in the past 17 years! This was all in a 15 minutes car ride! I then noticed we were at the school and saw all the beautiful smiles of the girls waiting to welcome us with open arms!

I haven't even skimmed how amazing this has all been. I'm on the verge of tears every time I have to think about leaving them tomorrow. Those girls and India will now always have a special place in my heart! Today as I was saying goodbye to a girl she looked at me and said " Tomorrow you no cry" as she walked away I began to cry but didn't let her see. I wish I could be with them forever but I now am forever changed because of them. I can only hope I have helped them like they have helped me!

I have been very healthy this whole trip and don't really miss home. (Sorry mom) I did miss my dog as I held a puppy in my village today. Mom I decided when I come home I want Wendy's and a solid Jamba Juice! That's all I have wanted this trip! I hope all is good back home and try not to miss me to much! See you December 2nd!