Now accepting applications for the Fall 2022 teen expedition. Applications are due March 6, 2022.

SENSEing India !!!!!! by: Gabby Bergstrom

June 17, 2019 - 2019: Asha Ki Chamak

What I am about to describe to you is what I’ve experienced in India, through my 5 ish senses.

1.     Sound: Stifled giggles from the group as Raj scoffs at the “13 years of experience”d yoga instructor. Resonating ring of the ceremonial bells during a traditional Hindu sacrament. Constant conversations seeming to happen by the cars and busses in traffic on the way to school. Boisterous laughter from the group, yet again, as we carelessly dance and sing to wake the whole city. “Deedee deedee!”, meaning sister in Hindi, shouted by my students daily.

2.     Taste: Curry. Naan & cucumbers. Oh, and those On Guard cough drops Carrie brings to me every day because I’m sick. NO thanks to the air quality & also probably Taneh.

3.     Smell: Fire. Incense. Poop. Dead animals. Me?

4.     Touch: My hydroflask, hydr8 everyone. Shutter button on my camera to capture every moment. Guitar strings so we can practice for our culture exchange. Dust, so much dust. NOT the gross, sad, & dirty puppies. Ayna wiping away my tears after Chris read my mom’s comment on my last blog post. (Yes, I cried. Is that a surprise?) The little hands holding mine only after 5 short days, but has felt like my forever. I wish it could be.

5.     Sight: Many marijuana leaves contrasted with many beautiful trees on the bus drive home from school. 4 large spiders (*frowny face*). Many, almost, fist fights between Dyani and Joseph during our lunch breaks at school. Bright, cheerful colored buildings and people. A lifetime’s worth of experiences and a whole lot of love in the chocolate brown eyes and contagious smiles of my kids.

6.     Felt: An immense amount of love for my village team, my expedition team, my leaders, and my translators (especially Ayna, she rules). Flabbergasted at the 2 inches our bus drivers constantly are from hitting another car, or anything else in their path. Sadness and anger at my inability to help everyone I see living in complete and utter poverty. Unexplainable amount of joy that every single human in my group brings me. Engulfing anticipation and excitement to see my kids again. Inversely, overwhelming dread for saying goodbye to them on Wednesday.


In summary, I’m sad and that’s all I’ve got the energy to write. Mom, tell Oscar I miss him. Also I miss you all. Thanks to anyone who read this all. Anyway, see ya later. Love ya.

9 Responses to “SENSEing India !!!!!! by: Gabby Bergstrom”

  1. Mom: sighing and crying Sighing because I finally get to see my girl and read her words. Crying because my girl is having a life changing experience halfway across the world, and changing our lives with her words in the process. So so happy.

    Gabby, I am so happy to see your face and read of your experience. I am sure your senses are on overload! Do your best to just enjoy and embrace all thats around you. I can tell you already are. I am filled with gratitude for you and your choice to serve and to see that real joy has nothing to do with things. We are blessed by you! And we miss you!!

    Oscar is ready to sleep on your bed (he sits at your door A LOT) and we’re ready to give you an enormous hug! We’ll be patient and wait until Sunday. :). ENJOY your last week. Write your experiences down. Names, places, things, sights and sounds. We cannot wait to hear about it all.

    So so so so much love.



    PS Paige – thanks for nudging my girl.

    PPS Yesterday was amazing!! Thank you Marce for letting us see our cute girls face and hear her voice. It was a priceless fathers day gift.

  2. Gabby, It sounds like your senses are being overloaded. Try to soak up all that you possibly can because you will find that these experiences are truly priceless! I love you and I am so proud of you! Dad

  3. Gabby,
    Everything that you described is overwhelming me with the experiences I had! I am vicariously living through you right now reading these blogs. What an amazing time for you! Keep writing in your journal so you can remember all of these things you are writing about. I love and miss (and am jealous of) you! Those kids will never forget you Deedee!
    PS tell Gretta hi and I love her with all my heart.

  4. GABBY I MISS YOU SO MUCH!!! your posts are the illest things i’ve read and i’m so glad you’re having fun! the second you and paige are done from girls camp & india & vacations can we start girls week??? i love & miss you & cant wait to hear your stories!!!

  5. Gabby Gab, I love you! Your post hits right in the heart. So amazing,the tastes, sounds, sights, feelings. So happy you are experiencing this and soaking it all in. Those kids will never forget you, your beautiful smile, kindness, love and compassion. Cant wait to see you and hear about it all. Love You, be safe

  6. So well written! Love the pictures and so glad you have had this incredible experience. They are blessed to have you ❤️

  7. Sooo happy you’re there Gabby! Anna is envious of you being there and her not. Loved your post. Love you!

  8. I enjoy your desceiotions and your writing style. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  9. GABBY
    I am so jealous like your pictures make me cry and then I go look at my pictures. I can’t wait for you to come home and we can talk about everything. soak in EVERYTHING I mean it. Every single moment because it doesn’t last. But I am so happy for the change your making in those kids lives they will forever remember and be grateful for you.
    ps I didn’t get my call yet hahah
    Anyways LOVE YOU

Leave a Comment

Say Hello

Questions? Want to help us? Drop us an email!