I’ve been to the Top - Abbie Robles

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How many people can say they’ve been to the top of the Himalayas? Hehehe. Yesterday, we hiked in the Himalayas and it was pretty much the craziest hike of my life. I’ve got to admit, I felt like Indiana Jones. Avoiding vines, falling through mud, scaling boulders… except, I didn’t find the Holy Grail. There was a time we were so far into the mountains, we realized we had crossed the boarders of Pakistan. (NO WORRIES MOM, I didn’t get through. I forgot my visa, though those that made it tell me it’s quite nice.) Yay, Pakistan! We also visited a Hindu temple, (again, no Holy Grail to be found), and that was awesome. It was filled with soft rugs, statues and rich incense. You know, we’re not all as different as we think. Many of the rituals felt very similar and familiar. We’re all one people, just different perspectives. This trip has helped me bridge that gap from our differences and realize how alike we all are. Different route, but same journey. 

Tomorrow is our last day with our kids. We visited both schools today, our first school (Bagra) and the Deaf & Blind School.  In Bagra, the children I’ve spent the most time with, we had a blast making crafts and teaching our last lessons with our kids. It was a sunny day with children hanging on every limb possible, tugging on my hair, pulling my scarf and holding my hands. It’s an amazing feeling, when a child takes your arms and wraps them around theirs just to be held. Sometimes all you need is to be loved. Today was our first day at the Blind and Deaf school in a couple days. We were worried our girls would be upset with us because we hadn’t been there for them. We met them on a blue tarp sitting in the sunshine; I came up to Rajnan and extended my hand for a handshake. She declined my hand and instead wrapped both her arms around me and hugged me for a long time. My heart swelled with love for this little girl. The rest of the afternoon, we spent making crafts and teaching our final lessons to the deaf girls. When it came time to leave, I hugged all our girls goodbye and climbed into the car. I looked behind me and waved goodbye, when I noticed litte Rajnan waving “I Love You” in sign language to me. My eyes swelled with tears of joy as I realized, this is love. Rajnan, this small, quiet, orphaned and deaf girl, made me feel more loved today than I have ever felt before. I hope we’ve given them the tools to make a life they had always dreamed of.  But if we’ve accomplished anything here, we’ve given them love, complete and honest love. For these children, they have next to nothing. No possessions. No family. No food. But they have our love now… and that is the most precious gift we could have ever given them. 

It breaks my heart to think of leaving these people. This country. Our kids. Our new relationships. I desperately don’t want to leave these people. Every person I‘ve met here has changed me for the better. They’ve shown me that you don’t need much to be happy. That money isn’t everything. That present is the only moment that matters. They’ve taught me to appreciate every bite of food I take, every grain of rice, because someone, somewhere, in this city, village, my very school, don’t even eat that much. More than anything, my team, my translators, this country, the people, have taught me how to love. How to love openly, honestly, humbly, with total abandonment. Without ego or barriers. A selfless love. I will forever hold this country, this spirit and these people in my heart, but the journey doesn’t stop here nor does the love. 

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”

If you do anything in your life, anything at all, humble yourself and love your fellow man. It is our greatest power we possess and if we can all do that, we will move mountains. We will build a better life. A better self. A better world. 

 

So I ask you, what better world will you build?