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Last Days In Chamba – Zippy Ford

November 29, 2017 - 2017 Operation: Dabangg

last days in Chamba


The red team is still killing the game. Your kids are absolutely amazing. Watching them each day and seeing how much they have changed and how much they care about all the children they have met has been the highlight of my time here. They get up early each day when Allison knocks on their door and they don’t complain even though they are exhausted. They eat the breakfast that has been mostly the same food every day without a single complaint. They make their lunch along with the translators lunch happily and they get in the cramped car for our crazy drive to our small school. All of these conditions could be described as not ideal but they still laugh and smile and NEVER say anything negative. Their constant positive attitude has made me feel overwhelmingly happy and so grateful they are on my team. They lift each other up and are genuinely nice to each other which something else that I can not tell you how much I appreciate.


We had to say goodbye to the YMAD girls yesterday which was emotional for all. Those girls know that each each the Ymad teens will come and each year the Ymad teens leave a piece of their heart with those 10 girls this year was no exception . Saying goodbye is difficult even though it has only been a short time. The bonds that are made in India are made quickly and with nothing held back.    After dinner we had to organize our bags for school today, this was not as easy as it may seem because we had to separate what stays here in India and what we need to take back to Salt Lake City with us. We also had to pack hygiene kits and school supplies kits to give to all the children in our school. Despite being sad, the kids pushed through and packed our bag efficiently and again with no complaints.


Tuesday (today) was our final day in our little Dulla school. The anticipation of having to say goodbye to these 27 kids we have all come to love was thick in the air as we drove up the winding roads to our tiny school on the mountain.  We walked up the small path and were all greeted with the happy faces and a loud “good morning mam goodmoring sir!”  Today was a review day so the teens taught the school all together as one group instead of the 5 smaller groups they have done every other day. After the short review was play time. We jumped rope, pinned the tail on the donkey, danced, took pictures, played down by the banks, ride that pony, all of the favorite games we have been playing throughout the week at the school. Before lunch we had the school children line up youngest to oldest. The YMAD teens handed out all the new supplies for the kids. Backpacks, coloring books, sweaters, shoes, socks, hygiene kits, school supply kits, kazoos, bracelets, necklaces, and chocolate. The school children were in awe. They kept saying thank you so much and smiling they kept showing each other  all the things they had gotten. The rest of the day they wouldn’t take their new backpacks off which housed the rest of their new items. We also gave the teachers all the leftover supplies we didn’t need to take back to the US with us and they were so happy. It is so fulfilling to watch these teens hand out all the things they fundraised their money to provide. Their hard work truly paid off! The teacher named Tripta told me that she was retiring in June and she was so happy that she was at this school while we were there. She said she loved us so much and would miss us in her heart. I am so thankful that we had such an amazing and welcoming teacher and school it made the experience that much better.


After we had given out all the presents including pop rocks, snap bracelets, and flying spinners that Emily brought from home we played with them, the teens gave them pictures from home and we watched them perform some dances for us  and then it was time to say our final goodbye.


Saying goodbye is difficult because we have spent the past week pouring every ounce of love and energy into these kids. It is also hard because the school children don’t realize we won’t be seeing them again. When we would cry the school kids would wipe our tears and say “no sad” this would make us all cry harder. We piled back in our car and watched all the children wave from the gate yelling goodbye and thank you. I can honestly say that we made a lasting impact on the school kids just like they did on us. We will never forget their faces, their happy attitude, their sweet voices, and hugs.


Although it was a sad goodbye our team is so supportive and was already talking about how amazing their time with the kids has been and Farah shared a sweet treat from home on our car ride back which cheered us all up a little.


Emily, Farah, Gracie Mae, Camryn, Jono, and Jake have been the most amazing group. I love them so much and I am so proud of them. I can honestly say they will make the most successful, kind, thoughtful, compassionate, forgiving, and grateful leaders. I know they are going to continue to do amazing things.


Thank you again for trusting me to take care of your beautiful children in India and for sharing them. I appreciate them so much and watching them transform and change throughout this program has been unreal.


This is my second time in India and I have been lucky enough to experience both sides of the Ymad program, first as a teen and no as an adult leader. This second time around I have felt more gratitude because I have been able to see the magic of Ymad from the outside. I have been able to appreciate the craziness that is India more, and have been surrounded by the best adult leaders and YMAD teens I could have ever imagined. Last thing, sharing this experience with my mom and aunt has been the very best. Especially seeing my mom in action, this is her sixth time here in Chamba but her first with one of her own children. She is an absolute super woman. She is for sure the person you want taking your children to India.


I am sad this adventure is coming to an end it has been the most incredible week and a half in India I can’t wait to have 4 more days I’m this wonderful place.




One Response to “Last Days In Chamba – Zippy Ford”

  1. Thank you for being the perfect leader for the group and Camryn. She has loved this year and working with you! I can’t wait to hear all about it. This blog means so much to us back at home.

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