Hayley Wetterhus

SONY DSC Hello world!

Today was absolutely INCREDIBLE! Along with every other day of this week but today was especially great! Well, every day just gets better and better. I’ll start from the beginning: this place from the drive from Amritsar to Chamba was one of the most eye-opening experiences in my life. The streets are completely dirt, the people selling food straight on the street were so unsanitary and just poor looking, and yet the colorful houses so carefully placed within the lush green scenery made my jaw drop. It’s so beautiful but so poor here and I’m so amazed.

After teaching the temple girls for a couple days, which was one of the best times ever- meeting the girls, learning their names and personalities, getting really attached and then having to say goodbye- some of us were able to start teaching at a private school and those kids are just the CUTEST! They all wear uniforms that are too big on them because they are just too little and their eyes are always just so big! One of the greatest things has been teaching them and seeing them learn, and seeing all my teammates teach and assist. It really does make me feel like I’m making a difference to the world, and I didn’t need a college degree or 7 years of school to do it. Teaching them has been so fun, but the best moment with them was yesterday when we taught them the Macarena and all of a sudden I looked out over the view of the mountains and had a realization that I was having a dance party in India pretty much within the Himalayas. I’m so stinking obsessed with this place- it’s crazy!

Anyway, the reason today was so amazing was because not only did I get to spend time at the private school again, making so many new adorable friends including Katik and Ashku, but we played the best soccer game of my life. It was our YMAD team against a local team. We played in front of hundreds of Indians downtown at the field that was right in the middle of this huge carnival and the opposing team was so legit. THEY HAD SHINGAURDS! We all thought they would be super chill but no! They were crazy good and we all were a little intimidated; HOWEVER, with the help of our amazing coach and YMAD college expedition team member, Spencer Ford, they only scored one point on us in the first half! Nevermind how the second half went because after that it was just the most fun I’ve ever had! Hot, sweaty, sticky, competitive fun! And just seeing the look on every Indian man’s face was so priceless- it’s honestly so interesting being the minority.

I’m learning so much from this trip and I couldn’t feel more blessed. The bathrooms, the humidity, the ginormous spiders, the never-ending smell of body odor and the chaotic drivers have taken some getting used to and the food still sets my mouth on fire, but the longer I’m here the more my heart hurts to think of leaving. This trip has been nothing like I’ve expected and I couldn’t be happier. Can’t wait to see what comes next!!!

Love from Chamba,