Namaste!

This already has been the most amazing experience. Just getting here was insane; after three planes (I got to spend a few hours in the same country as Christopher), an overnight train, and an Indiana Jones train ride through the Himalayas we finally arrived in Chamba. The scenery is unreal. We are staying high in the mountains with even higher mountains surrounding us. As most of you are aware India is overflowing with garbage and it is such a pity that such a beautiful place could be treated in such a way. We drive about an hour each day on more sketchy roads to get to our school in Sahoo. The first day we started to walk down to the school when from above 52 children ran to the balcony waving to us as if they had been waiting forever. We couldn’t have asked for a better greeting. Teaching is harder than I thought, the kids can read and write but cant speak it...so when trying to relate words with meaning often the kids just repeat the word making it difficult to know if they are actually learning. There is one girl in particular that I am already relating to. We were coloring wooden dolls and many of the kids would only copy the examples but Reeya spent so much time making her doll unique and detailed that she totally reminded me of myself and what I love to do. She and her friend Chanchalo are the best of friends and completely stick up for each other and I love it! They have been glued to my hip for the past two days. We spent time tonight in our groups discussing what we want to do for each school and I’m so excited for what our group decided. Tomorrow we are taking all 52 children into the city to get them measured for their own uniform. I can’t wait to go shopping with all of them! Im having so much fun and couldn’t ask for anything more! Love and miss you all! Tell the Haws family hi from me—I’m sad I’m missing Thanksgiving with them but I’m sure you guys will all have a great time!

XO

Emily

p.s. mom: you probably have already gone through all the stuff in my room by now but I promise if you were here you would feel no need to. I’m so lucky to be here with your two best friends! I know they wish you were here!