So Close to Having to Say Goodby - By Ciana Bataineh

IMG_1168I can’t believe how close I am to having to say goodbye to my cuties. I have grown such a unique love for my kids. I love everything about them: their willingness to learn, their unconditional love for me and my team, their unlimited energy. I hope I have taught them even half as much as they’ve taught me. I am so surprised by how much I have grown to love them in such a short amount of time.

Not only do we have our children in the morning, we’ve also been working with deaf girls in the afternoon. I absolutely adore them. They are geniuses! They soak everything up like sponges. Interestingly enough, they’re easier to communicate with than our morning children. The deaf children have experience communicating without words, while the other children don’t, and therefore we have a language barrier. Working with our deaf girls is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I love hearing them giggle because I know they can’t hear themselves, so it’s a real, genuine laugh. 

Tonight we went to a Hindu temple and I absolutely loved it. We got “safety bracelets” and I’m never taking mine off. We also got to take a sort of sacrament of water and pieces of sugar. Then we walked through the temple and it was one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen. There were different rooms with shrines of the different gods. We even got to see a ceremony called Aarti. 

Tonight opened the letters our parents wrote us and it made me miss my mom so much. Her letter to me was perfect. Somehow, like always, she knew exactly what to say. 

I am so grateful for this experience and all the amazing people I’ve gotten to meet. I’m so grateful for my mom and her support. I wouldn’t even be half the person I am without her. I’m grateful for all the people who donated to me, especially the strangers. I had more strangers donate to me than people I know, and for that I also need to thank my mom. She really helped me spread the word to all of her connections to help me make this happen. I’m so grateful for my cuties and all that they’re teaching me. I’m grateful for my entire YMAD group. They’re all so supportive and we’ve all gotten so close. This experience in India has been incredible and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.