Espen Earl

This last past week with the children has truly been one of the most remarkable experiences of my seventeen years. I never expected that the children would have such a big impact on my life.

Before the trip to India, I was more interested in the activities we would be doing after working with the children: shopping, traveling, and being with my friends, but now I am devastated that I am not working and helping educate the children. I had such a great time being with them, and it was such a great reward to see their growth through the past week. They started out as shy children with little confidence that were too afraid to interact with us. At the end of the week I could truly see their growth. They were willing to sing, dance, and play with the YMAD gang. They also amazed me with how well they spoke English! On Sunday, our last day with the children, I would carry on conversations with the girls that I thought would never had happen earlier on in the week. As we spoke English they went out of their way to teach me Bengali, and it was a blast. I never expected that leaving them would be so hard. It was great to see how much they grew in such little time.

As I sit here in the Sumdarban tiger preserve I can’t help but think of what a great experience I had with the children. Someday, hopefully I will be able to come back to West Bengal, and I truly can say that this adventure has had a positive impact on my life!