Rice, Mice, Lice and Sound Advice

A Primer For Future YMAD Leaders We have always been pretty easy going but, if we have learned anything this year it is to go with the flow.  When working with teens, the experience is most similar to herding cats.  In India the experience is compounded by a myriad of variables.  Flight schedules, missing busses, strange food, the "return" of same strange food, eager teenage Indian boys and the like.  We have learned that our primary responsibility in India was to manage poop in its many forms.  Are you going?  Are you going too much? Is the plumbing in your room working?  Is it working too much?  It is a never ending challenge to keep everyone healthy and happy and it seems that pooping is the key to much of it.  Sort of.  It turns out that once here and managing the poop, miracles happen and lives change.  Visas go through at beyond the last moment and against impossible odds and a team is made whole in an exciting reveal.  Play grounds appear where before there was only compacted dirt.  Young girls have their matted and lice infested hair washed and styled by some of the most loving and kind  teens the girls have ever had the opportunity to be loved by.  Lessons are taught and english is learned by teachers who not only teach the words but the meanings.  By teachers who are engaged, loving, non judgmental and falling heart and soul in love.  The confidence and self esteem of every student was lifted as twenty five teens from "OOtah" wrapped their arms and their hearts around every young student they came in contact with.  This experience has exceeded our every hope and expectation.

Robert and JoDee, the teens of Operation Shakti have represented YMAD to the people, teachers, interpreters and students of West Bengal to perfection.  Lessons were taught, english was learned, spirits were lifted and lives were changed.

Parents, your teens have been and are amazing.  Each of you should be proud beyond proud of their behavior and performance here.  We could not be more thrilled to return them to you.  (I mean that in a good way!)  Be patient with them as they struggle to share their experience with you.  The YMAD India experience is very tender.  Soon we will greet you in the Salt Lake airport.  As your son or daughter rushes to you look into their eyes.  You will see a spark, a twinkle, a flame.  A change that only comes when your heart, soul and body is fully engaged in the service of others.

Thank you for your love.  Thank you for your support.


All our love,

Jeff and Jane