India!! The past few days have been nothing short of amazing. Having the opportunity to come back to Chamba for the second straight year has been great. However, this time there was a major difference. This time I have been given the blessing of watching 7 incredible youth transform over the last 9 months and become youth determined to make a difference in the lives of the children of India.
Gabrielle has been incredible over here. She was team leader the first day and had her first chance to teach on the second day. As I would walk around and sit in on her lessons she always kept the children engaged and entertained! Just to see how much the children were learning was so neat. Today I watched her teach five senses to the kids. They would stick their hand into a bag and attempt to describe what was inside. It was adorable. Gabrielle did a great job.
There's something about Sarah that the kids can't get enough of. Right when we get to the school a few of the children that have come to love Sarah refuse to leave her side. Yesterday after teaching the kids all day we were walking back to our jeep (about a 10 min walk through a local village) and one little Indian girl held Sarah's hand the entire way and only reluctantly let go when arrived at the cars.
Today Lizzie taught the children action words. They loved it! Lizzie is an amazing teacher. The kids learned all of the vocabulary very quickly and we're anxious to show off their new skills (spin, crawl, hop, etc). To see the children's eyes light up as they got a right answer was so special. They love Lizzie and have so much fun with her every lesson. Lizzie shows how big of an impact our youth can make.
Samye has been so optimistic and happy through this entire trip. It had really helped our team to stay on track. Yesterday Samye taught Days of the Week/Months to the children. She did an amazing job. She would lay out the different months on the ground and would have the children try and put them in the correct order. By the end of each of Samye's lessons the kids were so excited to show her their newly learned vocabulary.
Belinda is a teaching machine! She has been so impactful since the day we arrived in the schools. She is always ready and willing to help in any way and has been very playful and loving to all of the children. Today after we finished teaching, kid after kid was lining up to be twirled around by their new friend Belinda. The smiles on their faces as they spun around in the air would melt anyone's heart. Belinda is very good at identifying kids having a difficult time learning and pulling them aside to work one on one. It has made all the difference in the world.
Throughout the entire trip Nick has been amazing. He has always been so willing help in any situation and has really helped the expedition to run smoothly. Yesterday Nick was a team leader and did an awesome job helping everyone with their lessons. Today he taught eating healthy to all the kids. It was incredible to see how much the kids had learned at the end of all his lessons. We are lucky to have him on our team.
Tanner is seriously awesome. He has been pouring his heart out to the kids and they sure do love him. Today he conducted 45 eye exams for the kids in the school. He then helped our expedition doctor conduct general exams on all of the children. It was really great! Being able to help those kids will be something he'll remember forever. To top off the day Tanner had two of the little boys waiting to hold his hand as they walked home from school. It was quite the site.
Though I have been to Chamba before on a previous expedition there is definitely something really special about working with these amazing youth. I'm so proud of the way they have prepared for the last 9 months. It most certainly has paid off. I can't wait to see what adventures lye ahead.