Thanks for Giving

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to experience the world. No matter how long you prepare for something like this, there is nothing that can help you fully understand the gravity of this journey. I’ve given up trying to describe in my journal what I am seeing here on the other side of the planet. I am relying on pictures to do that. I have given up on trying to analyze what I am doing, I can’t control it and I can’t predict it. The time that I have spent here has been so life defining for me, every second I think about how this has to end and the my real world starts up again. Don’t worry Dad I’m not letting it go by without me, I’m not distracted from the now because of the later, I am just scared. Not scared that I will be hurt in a foreign country, or catch some kind of disease (too late to be afraid of that). I am scared for this to end and scared for the day that I have to say goodbye to my new sisters and family that I have here in India.

From the moment we got here, the culture has brought such a spiritual emotion that my mind races thinking about everything at once. I used to be one that found myself planning the next day before the current one had even begun and now I find myself short about six days on T-shirts and underwear. One of the strangest moments was the first day at the boarding school. Twenty-three teens walk into a life that we had only heard stories about and we all feel it. Many of us were crying but all of us were choking on our emotions. It was a flood of feelings from anxiety to excitement, and from super freaking happy to I want to die right here right now. The fact that I had know idea who these girls were but that I knew what they made me feel was so powerful. I knew from that first welcoming song that we were going to love it here.

Now to share how I am actually doing… I’m sick, physically sick. I’ve been in bed since before Thanksgiving Dinner last night. Haven’t eaten anything since lunch and I haven’t seen the kids in WAY TOO LONG. How sucky, to spend one of these important days in bed, and when I say bed I mean writhing on top of a sleeping bag over concrete floors in a room with ten other guys. Bleh, I’m feeling better though, probably because I had some peace and quiet while they were out living this life and I was stuck soaking it up and by it I mean my own drool. This trip has been a world of firsts for me. My first REAL plane ride, My first moments on a foreign continent, The first time that I had a craving for McDonalds, Bleh, and the first time I’ve been truly homesick. It was the plane transfers and the uncomfortable twelve hour flight that did that too me, and then today was pretty rough, wishing I could be at home watching News Radio in my bed. But I’m ready for another day. I feel loads better and I can’t wait to get back out there. As soon as morning came that first day, and I knew that the plane rides were over, for a while, I never wanted to go home again.

That is just a preview of what I have to say when we get home. I have so much to explain and to share with everyone who helped me get here, the thing is I never want to get home to tell those stories. I want to stay. I want to soak it up for as long as I can. I’ve learned so much and there is still so much to keep experiencing. Thank you to those who donated to this cause. I know I could teach children in the U.S. and help them prepare for a better future but doing this gives me such a greater opportunity for a better future for me. I feel so excited every morning to get up and serve. A trip like this does so much more for the kids and myself than it could in my home country. I am experiencing the world, thanks to you. All of you reading this, have helped in some way. Getting me to apply myself in the first place. Helping me fundraise with so many garage sales and individual service projects. Supporting me in the preparation for this trip, and also for allowing me to leave home for something bigger than me and my life. You know who you are, I hope you know what you have done for me and my life.

Thank you for giving me everything and for the chance to see the world. Love you all. Talk to you soon.

-Love Cooper