To put it in perspective
I kept telling Alexis as we were driving to SLC then to the airport and then getting on the plane that, “it hasn’t really hit me yet, that we’re finally going to India”. It still hadn’t really until this morning. We got into the little 6 seater cars at about 7:00 loaded up with lunches and education supplies and headed out for our villages. First of all, if you’ve ever watched someone drive around on a video game like grand theft auto or Mario kart who has never played it before then you have a glimpse of what it’s like to look out the windshield as you are being driven down the narrow streets of India. When we arrived in our villages and walked into the little cement building with cement floor and nothing but rugs inside, which they call school, we finally saw all the kids standing quietly around the perimeter waiting for us. That’s probably when it finally all hit me.
The rest of the day pretty much went by in a blur, I taught names of musical instruments and colors over and over and over with varying degrees of comprehension. So many things stood out to me as strange, like how quiet and well behaved and focused the little 5th graders were despite this being the most exciting week of their year. Also, the fact that every girl over the age of 16 is very interested in getting their picture taken with you and establishing you as their best friend. The teaching was still so much fun and then we played games like duck duck goose and ride ride ride that pony for forever. It was a blast and I can’t wait for tomorrow even though I’m exhausted.
The cusp of the day however, was definitely the village visits. Every day before lunch we go visit homes around the school we are teaching at. Imagine driving to north piney lake in a small car like an xterra or something except you have to share the “road” with people on bikes and pushing carts. Then you walk down a path to a little hut where the family has lined the path and is throwing flower petals on you as you walk by and you sit down on the nicest furniture in their entire yard... a few woven mats. Then they serve you plates of food and give you more flowers and wave candles over you and stuff. After the ceremonious stuff you proceed to have an awkward but inspiring conversation via the translator about how they have 40 people living in that little hut and how they haven’t been able to sleep at night for a week because they were so excited for your visit.
It’s hard to worry about your missing bag full of clean underwear and granola bars after visiting a family like that. I can’t wait for tomorrow.