India… Isaac Robbins

Everything is great. It is delicious, hilarious, or beautiful. The food, delicious, the time spent with each other, hilarious, and everything else, beautiful. I have yet to go hungry, or not want to eat something, not including the village food from the homes, which is mostly coconut, chips, puffed rice and guava. I don’t see how I could possibly get sick of the food or see it getting bland. Breakfast and dinner are always amazing and, well, Nutella for lunch will never get old. I haven’t had the same flavor twice yet. We don’t have the same curry every meal and I have loved every single meal. I did have the chili’s twice, but that wasn’t so delicious. That was hilarious.

After all the boys had tasted chilis, we decided to eat some more. Our mouths were on fire, we were crying and laughing, and I am currently praying that the peppers were worse going in than they will be coming out. The long therapeutic talks with the boys in the next bathroom, whether pooping or showering, drawing on the people that fell asleep early, playing stupid games, and just being with so many friends are what have made the trip so much fun. I have never laughed until I cried so many times.

It is the beautiful things that make the trip worth it. Beautiful no longer means attractive. It means being happy even though your spine isn’t straight and you can’t walk, the innocence of some of the most beautiful children in the world, the humility of a woman who makes paper bags out of newspaper for a living, the experience that turns skin to leather, and the happiness, love and eagerness to learn. When the girls left to shop, I grabbed a ukulele and bathed in the absolute serenity of the background honking of the cars and occasional firecrackers. I have never, in my whole life, felt like I was in such a silent setting, despite the noise. I sang to Ryan, and I sang to myself, sitting on the ledge of our compound looking at the dirt streets, cars, bikes, people and dogs that passed by. I played and sang for close to two hours, and didn’t stop when the girls and the noise joined me on the balcony for their dinner.

At the Day Boarding School, there is one girl, Sundari, and her two friends who cling to me always. They have shown so much love to me it is overwhelming, but there is another girl in my village named Rupa Das. Her eagerness to learn, her spirit, and her perfect smile create feelings of love that I have never felt before.

Everything is new and everything is good. So many things are beautiful, even the dirty streets, the poverty, the smells, and the traffic. These are some of the most beautiful things and some of the things I will miss the most. It has also been such a blessing to get to know so many amazing people and make so many amazing friends that share a common love with me. Peace