JoDee Baird

My turn to blog. Somehow I keep thinking that I will get used to teens being touched for their first time by the poverty and beauty of India. I was nervous to come to West Bengal. I knew in that Chamba had the magical formula to impact the hearts of teens, however having never been to West Bengal I was not sure how it would all work out. It has surpassed all of my expectations. In case you were wondering 24 teens lives will never be the same. West Bengal is so personal and intimate. Instead of the struggles and poverty spread over the mountains and in some ways distant; here, it is in your face. Several teens had tears in their eyes as we drove from the airport in Calcutta through the villages in West Bengal. The teens could see into their “huts” and their lives from the bus. Here are a few of the comments I have heard from the teens after the first day in the schools and villages. “I am not going home, I am going to move here.” “This was the best day of my life.” “I am already dreading leaving.” “I didn’t want to say good bye to the children today, what will I do when we have to really leave?”

We will try to get the teens to blog more often.

They are usually so exhausted when they get home it hard to get them to the computer.
All of the teens have been amazing. The heat and humidity was so intense yesterday and they never complained. They have gone into their villages and schools with hope, love and confidence. You would be so proud of each one of them. The weather is better today, just incase you were worried. They have access to lots of clean drinking water and we are making sure they drink a lot. There are very few mosquitoes, which has been nice. So far everyone is happy and healthy, which in turn makes me happy and healthy. Thanks for sharing your teens; they are extraordinary.