Wow, What A Ride! - by Gretta Millett
‘Wow, what a ride!’ When Operation Nishtha began, we could not have guessed what would transpire as we shared this journey together. There was no doubt in my mind about the caliber of our teens, yet daily they show more depth and ability than I thought possible. As parents, you should be congratulated for raising such delightful, smart and big-hearted children. Each teen is uniquely gifted and they compliment one another, making the group powerful and purposeful.
India is a constant surprise and contradiction. The living conditions here in Sunder Nagar are quite simple, yet self-sustaining. As we drive to the schools each day, we pass through mountain passes, where all around, the hillsides are terraced and planted with wheat. Women are in the Iields gathering what is needed to dry for their food and for animal feed. Cattle droppings are lovingly patted into cakes and placed on rocks and rooftops to dry for fuel. Small shops line the market area, selling everything from fresh produce to hand made pots and knives.
It has been pure delight seeing the teens work with the children. Each morning the children are standing on the porches and walkways of the schools, eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new friends. It is the sweetest thing to witness. These schools and small and poor, yet each child is well fed, groomed and dressed in the regional uniform. They receive a hot meal each day that has been prepared over an open Iire by the school’s cook.
Most of the teens have told me to tell their parents that they will not be coming home because they are too in love with the children and with India, ever to return to America. I assure you, they will be home, but they will be a better version of themselves, if that is possible.
The stories of India will pour from all of us when we meet again, but for now, please be assured that all is well, and all are happy. I am a truly grateful for this experience and for our remarkable and capable teens and adult leaders. The adult leaders are so amazing! They love the teens and the village children. There is a calm with us that permeates from them and trickles down to the entire group. Our translators are terriIic and have become part of our team
I am so grateful to my family and to my sweetheart Phil for keeping the home Iires burning while I travel this road. Shout out to Clara who will go to West Bengal in the fall! You are in for a treat!
Love and Miss you ALLLLLLLL!!