Madeline Hansen

There’s no surprise that the past few days have been amazing and full of new learning and adventure. Although the kids are getting crazier every time we are with them, I love them more and get more attached everyday. I am forever thankful to them for all they have taught me and for bringing me so much happiness. I am dreading the day I will have to say goodbye. I think one of the most memorable occasions was when there was a huge heard of goats that came charging right for us as we were in the middle of one of our lessons. Luckily Jake, our leader, jumped out and screamed and scared them the other way. My heart was pounding and the little kids were scared to death. They were only about two feet away. Luckily, this will never be a problem in America.  

We are beginning to connect so much better with the boys at the Ashram. They are so full of life and love having fun. They love cricket, but we learned the first day they can’t afford a cricket set.  We surprised them with a new cricket bat and balls. They were SO excited and played the whole day. They were also very interested in the pictures we brought from home. They wanted to keep a picture of each of us and wanted us to sign them. I have begun to love them, especially the youngest ones. I want to adopt them all.


Yesterday we had our cultural exchange. It far exceeded my expectations. There were around 400 people there along with the Chamba District Commissioner and many Government Officials. It was all broadcasted on their local television and we were in their newspaper today. We were treated like royalty. We were constantly being served water, juice, and interesting Indian treats. Our numbers went super well, and they went CRAZY when the boys did their backflips. The Indian numbers were amazing and so fun to watch. Their outfits are beautiful and they wear these enormous hoop nose rings.  We ended with a dance party with everyone. The kids went crazy and loved it!!! They never get to do anything like that. We were swarmed after, even with older men and women. They were all asking for pictures and our autographs. We got to be celebrities for a day.


Three things I have learned:

  1. Love is universal.
  2. Living simply, in the present and selflessly brings lasting happiness.
  3. You can do anything you put your mind to, and you are capable of more than you know.


I would like to give a little shout out to my family. I read your notes today and they all brought me to tears. Thank you Mom and Dad for all of your support, love, and faith in me. Matthew you are amazing and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better brother. Natalie and Isabelle, I miss your smiles. Also a little shout out to Jeffrey! I miss you and am still thinking of you. I love you all!!


See you before you know it!!!IMG_0456