Ugh! Blogging...-Emily Quezada

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Blogging is hard. I have all these thoughts and feelings about being here that I’m not quite sure how to express. I’m taking pictures and videos in a desperate attempt to be able to explain to my family and friends what is was like here when I get home, but with the full knowledge that they won’t understand. The sights, smells, and experiences here have to be lived, not written about. It’s complicated. I’m sure you’ve all heard from the others about how beautiful it is, how severe the poverty is, and how amazing the kids are, but I wonder how much of that we can truly process while we’re here. 

I’ve been so happy here and that makes me so sad. My heart aches knowing that  we’re leaving tomorrow and I’m afraid of returning to “real life”. Anyone that knows Emily knows that I live in a world of my own anyway. Too often I reject the reality presented me because I feel crushed by the weight of responsibilities and possible futures. Here I have been thrust in front of raw humanity, both the beautiful and the ugly, and I’m not quite sure yet how much I will choose to let affect me, and how much control of that I really have. However, I felt somewhat detached from what has been happening here. I’ve cried over letters and laughed during car rides, but at night, when I go to the roof or sit on the stairs with the inky black sky stretching out around me and the ancient mountains cradling the valley before me, I feel so small and insignificant. I can feel my day unraveling in front of me. Threads that I thought were particularly poignant or plain suddenly don’t matter anymore, and my sense of accomplishment leaves with the sun. I am one American girl in a strange country with a big mission. Of what is my success supposed to be comprised?

There is a girl at the blind school named Priya. I don’t really remember why I was paired with her in the beginning, but I’ve been her aide every day that we’ve taught here. In the beginning, my only communication with her was the paraphrase of my words via the interpreter. She didn’t even smile. On Thursday of last week Priya began to hold my hand like she did with the other blind girls. She smiles and laughs now, and the squeezes she gives my hand mean so much more than her words ever could. What if my only purpose here was to leave a trail of happy memories? Would that be so wrong? What if I left and no child in India spoke a word more of English? What if my legacy was the squeeze that a girl in Sunder Nagar, India gave a white girl she would never be able to see or speak with in the same vernacular because she was happy? Would it be worth the thousands of hours and miles? These are the questions I find myself asking the stars. What do you think?