Fallen in Love - Brooke Larsen

I can’t believe tomorrow is already my last day with the girls! I knew it would go by fast but it’s too fast, next time I come to India I need to go for much longer. 
This week has been non-stop activity.  We are with the girls from 8 until 5 and then the past few days we’ve had different things to do after the girls leave, like painting a classroom or going into town.  It’s been constant excitement, but it can be kind of exhausting, today Warren even fell asleep while helping a girl braid.

But I have fallen in love with these girls like I knew I would.  After going to India once before and teaching in Ecuador as well, I feel like I’m prepared more emotionally for the goodbye, but I couldn’t even sing most of One Day for Poonum and Lata on their last night because I was crying, so tomorrow’s goodbye will probably be just as difficult.  I feel like I can’t work with kids anywhere else! I already am in love with three groups of children and I want to spend more time with all of them and don’t want to spread myself any thinner. Even though I would’ve loved to go see my girls in West Bengal again, I am so happy I got to spend time with these beautiful girls that I have fallen in love with just like the first girls that taught me love. 
            As I think back on my experience so far there are a few moments and girls that will always stick out in my mind. I try hard not to pick favorites, and I’ve done a lot better here than in West Bengal since I’m working with much fewer girls, but it still happens.  These girls live in such a worn down building, I don’t know if I’d even call it a building, and there’s not much YMAD can do about it because the ashram rents the space from someone who doesn’t want to do construction.  But the girls still seem so happy. Seeing where they live helped me put the situation in context though, I think it’s important to see where they live to understand the reality of the situation.   I will miss doing Eskimo kisses with Bobee, little Saroj sitting on my lap during the car ride to town and falling asleep on my shoulder, having conversations with brilliant Deepali who is almost fluent in English, Soni’s smile.  
I hope the girls don’t get too emotional because even if I cry I feel like I will be able to contain myself more as long as the girls aren’t a mess.  I just hate knowing that once we leave they won’t have somewhere nice to go for part of the day.  We decided to spend one more morning with the girls because tomorrow is Independence Day, and the girls were so excited to have one more day with us. That made all the YMAD volunteers happy, but I just hope that doesn’t mean they will be too sad tomorrow. 
Brooke Larsen