Stories- Sara Barnett

Last fall, listening to the stories of India experiences from fellow schoolmates who had just returned from their trip was like an addiction. I couldn't get enough and I always craved to hear more.  Tears were brought to my eyes countless times hearing about the endless love, multitude of kisses and sweet smiles of the children encountered on the trip.It has been in the last week that I have realized how much I cherish and appreciate those shared stories. There's no way that even a million stories could have fully prepared me for what I have gotten myself into, but the enlightenment has made a big difference. Now I am here, in India, reliving the stories told to me.  The experiences are basically the same, but the details are defined by the challenges I am facing, the fears I have to overcome, how I allow my strengths to benefit me and my personal attitude towards "shindia".  All of these factors play a big role in the creation of my own story.  It is an incredible feeling to live in these same moments as those before me, which in turn makes the little things so much more meaningful.  It is the ultimate form of satisfaction. In particular, my dear friend Zoe Cohn (2012 West Bengal: Fall Expedition), told me so much about one little girl who attends the Main Day Boarding School named Supriya Mondal.  I have made sure to reach out to this darling human being. She is so calm, composed, respectful and she carries herself with the utmost grace. This is the perfect example of reliving stories I have been told about her. All day on Friday we walked hand-in-hand through Nicco Park (Indian amusement park), having the time of our lives together. I love this little girl with all my heart, and now I can see why Zoe told me nothing but the best things about her. Zoe, I understand. I'm doing all I can to fully immerse myself into the Indian culture, give all my love to the children I am teaching while also being open to everything they have to teach me, and enjoy every waking moment here.  So far, it's working.  I love every aspect of everything I have experienced so far.  I never want to leave, but as Jane said to us last night during our daily team meeting, "Reminisce about yesterday, enjoy today, and don't worry about tomorrow." I hope all is well at home, much love.

Sara