The Village of Champions - by Mckenna Bakker

We are officially halfway through our journey. We only have one more day in the Ashram and two more days in the schools. It’s happening so fast! I finally understand what people mean when they tell you that time flies. Today we taught about math in Kalsuin and the kids did pretty well. Except for the fact that they were all stinkers. They usually do okay in the mornings, but by the last lesson in the afternoon, they are so done. It’s always a challenge to get through that last lesson. Today one boy literally fell asleep during my last rotation. But so did James. He falls asleep everywhere. Jesse had a rough time with one of the kids, but he was still a sweetheart throughout the day. Ethan was also bluntly insulted by one of the children, which was pretty funny for the rest of us. On the upside, he was insulted in english, so at least we know that the kids are learning. Seriously, the kids were stinkers today. But they are the cutest stinkers in the whole world. Lauren helped out a lot with the kids during our lessons, which was nice. She was busy! Amy had a great day today, except for the brief moment in the Ashram when a girl wiped a booger on her. She’s currently trying to teach the kids to say “Whazz up?”, it’s a work in progress. Sierra is losing her voice and she sounds like a twelve year old boy that has been chain smoking his whole life, but we still love her. She also never stops singing when we play Ride That Pony, so she’s a trooper.

We have our last day in the Ashram tomorrow, which breaks my heart. Most of the kids in our Ashram also go to our school, but there are a few older girls that we’ll have to say goodbye to. They have been so sweet to us. Last week one of them gave me the most beautiful pair of earrings, which just warmed my heart. They have nothing, and yet they always manage to find a way to give something to us.

Today we sang our songs to the kids in the Ashram, and I think we all almost got a little choked up when we sang “You’ll Be In My Heart.” I’ll never be able to watch Tarzan again. At least not without crying. But it wasn’t all sad. At one point there was a friendship bracelet frenzy. The kids wanted friendship bracelets almost as much as they wanted to give them to us. I think I counted fourteen bracelets on my wrists.  I’ve never felt so loved.

As sad as I am to be close to the end with the schools, it is incredible to see all the good happening. The kids have come so far with their english! We had the opportunity to hand out school supply kits today and they were all so excited. We are also having twenty very needed benches delivered to the schools soon. Tomorrow we are going to be painting the doors and pillars in the Ashram, and soon we’ll be able to give them six bags of coal to stay warm in the winter. I just want to do as much as possible while I’m still here, and this is pretty much my last chance.

I miss everyone, especially my sisters! And root beer. I love you all!

-McKenna BakkerMcKenna Bakker (4 of 4)