Shout Out for our Shaanti Leaders!

Adult Leaders Balu Our expedition couldn’t have happened without our "strong" team of outstanding Adult Leaders! I’ve had the privilege to work with some fantastic people this year! From my experience, and a lot of input from the teens, here’s what we love about each of our leaders.

Tracey Praag (Kandi School): Tracey is so fun! She is always smiling and positive, no matter what. When it was raining all day at school, she encouragingly said, “Ok, well, let’s build a fire and teach on the balcony.” Very accommodating, flexible and happy. She can find humor in everything, keeps everyone happy, and can always lighten the mood. Tracey also has a big heart and “makes sure everyone is having a good time, enjoying themselves, and that no one is left out.” She works hard and cares a lot about her Village Team, and the kids at Kandi School.

Tim Scanlan (Mihar School): All the school boys yell, “TIM!” whenever they see him coming. They know he cares about them, and they love him back! He’s always as excited as the teens to get in and play with the school kids. Tim is always involved, not just supervising. He is essential to Mihar’s team unity and dynamic--letting his team “be silly and goof off” with each other at times, but also able to keep them focused when it’s time to get the work done. “Tim trusts us.” He can see his team’s potential and, after giving his insights and suggestions, he lets them make the final decision. Tim is also “kind-hearted, genuine, and super funny.”

Natalie Thorell (Thanah School): When I asked one teen what they love about Natalie, the response was, “Everything!” Natalie is fun, hard-working, strong, friendly, kind and genuine. She really cares about each team member, and everyone considers her as their “mother in India.” She pushes her team to be leaders, and lets them implement their own ideas and develop their own abilities. She is organized, but not too strict. “We have so much fun!” Her team enjoyed eating rhododendrums, having a paint fight, and riding on the roof of the car like real Jibhi natives!

Daniel Payne (Jibhi School): “Daniel is really good at connecting with us teens on a personal level.” He has a great relationship with every member of his Village Team. Daniel is a “funny guy” and knows how to have fun, but also can be serious and get work done well. In team meetings he is very inspiring, providing a carefully-prepared thought at every daily team meeting. He is motivating and a great example to everyone. He gets along well with and is greatly respected by the students, the Jibhi teachers, the teens and the other Adult Leaders.

Katie Dunn (Intern): Katie loves YMAD, India, and the children we teach! She has a kind heart and can “make a special connection with everyone she comes across.” She is also a hard worker and had great input for the Kandi Team, and our YMAD Team in general. She is always willing to help out, wherever she is needed. Katie also did an amazing amount of behind-the-scenes work, both in India and in Utah. She is fun to be around and “always has a smile on her face.”

Phebe Young (Medic): Watching Phebe teach the midwife birthing class was an enormous privilege for me, one of the highlights of my trip! She was extremely warm, funny, and engaging, and she connected with the midwives on an intimate level...enough that some of them would ask her personal questions after class. The teens love her as well--as a shopping partner, stargazing guide, back-of-the-bus buddy, etc.! Phebe has a “vigor for life and eagerness to achieve.” She inspires many to “live life with no regrets.”

Chad Thorell (Expedition Country Director): Chad is amazing! He loves the teens and loves YMAD, and gives his best to both. Chad is warm and friendly, and loves to be involved with the teens’ lives at home and in India. It’s not uncommon to see several of them hanging out at his home with his family. He has an unlimited amount of patience and kindness, along with a great sense of humor. The teens love and respect him, and say "he is full of inspiration that rubs off on those around him" and "he is one of the most inspiring men I’ve ever met!" Chad can always bring a smile to your face, and "make you feel like a million bucks!"

An enormous “THANK YOU!” to each of you for a successful year, and an unforgettable expedition to Jibhi!

<3 Lisa Palmer

Adult Leaders Taj