“I’m here for you”- Alex Park

This is the third time I have been on an expedition to Chamba India. It is always amazing to see all of the friendships that are made here half way across the world. Leaving the kids has created some of the most tender moments I have experienced. I have been very lucky to come back again and again to be able to build relationships. One man who I have looked up to and who has helped us out a lot is named Mr. Dahmi. I had the pleasure of living with him for several weeks 3 years ago. Even though it has been so long since I have talked to him, our friendship is still strong and I am very grateful for the support I have received from him. I’m sure many of you have already heard, but we were able to play an international soccer game against the semi-pro Chamba team. Of our whole expedition maybe 3 people had played soccer since little leopards (little league soccer).  And guess who got volunteered as the goalie? This guy. As our team walked onto the field all wearing matching shirts, except for me in a XXL yellow T, there were around a 1000 people in attendance surrounding the field. I timidly walked up to my position in the goal and I was looking into the crowd of Indians gathered behind the goal. I noticed one familiar face in the sea of people. It was Mr. Dahmi standing right next to the goal. He said “I’m here for you” followed by a wink. Even though I might never come to India again, I will always be grateful for the support I have received from the friends I have made here. I hope that I can show that same support to others I meet and to never forget the lessons I have learned here.