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Maggie LaStayo

August 4, 2014 - All Posts, 2014 Operation: Junglee

Teaching is coming to an end; and as most would probably agree (or have already previously said) it is quite bittersweet. The exhaustion is hitting us hard here in Kullu this week, but each morning we get up, pack our bags full of supplies, and make our way to inspire and teach some amazingly beautiful and eager girls.  Saying more goodbyes will be tough, but I am more than certain that we made a difference. I couldn’t be prouder of the success we had with two groups of kids this expedition, and I couldn’t be prouder of the team that Nick and I chose 6 months ago.
As I’m typing there is currently three ants bouncing about my keyboard in unison with my fingers.  I think it’s easy to say I take the cake in the bug bite department; at an estimate I’d say around 40 and continuously growing.  Needless to say, I’m not going to miss the bugs.

Nick and I had the brilliant idea to bring along some spaghetti noodles and sauce (actual brilliant idea goes out to my old leaders Rachel and James, thanks guys!) to cook for the team.  We snuck away from the team to the dungeon of terror to cook the most difficult pots of pasta I hope to ever endure.  But it was well worth it… I think it was the first meal that every single team member actually ate!  We may have overestimated the amount of noodles (Nick blames the mom in the aisle at Walmart) but don’t worry we made the disposing of them an adventure as well.

I have gotten to spend a great amount of time with our incredible leader Raj and his wife Nandini.  Seeing that this is my fourth year running on expeditions with Raj, he has truly become a great friend and pretty much our Indian big brother.  He keeps up so safe and yet fun at the same time.  He even went on a big Red Bull hunt for Spencer and I because he knew it would make us happy.  Nandini has been translating with us every single day we have taught, she’s pregnant and adorable, yet sassy and independent.  Unfortunately she cannot accompany us to Nepal, but I know this isn’t our last goodbye.

Nepal is just around the corner and I cannot wait for the new adventures we are about to endure!  India has become my true home away from home, and departing from it this time (truly not knowing when I will return) is going to be quite sad for me.  But knowing that YMAD is constantly making a difference, and sending new expeditions, I know there will always be some good American lovin’ for India to feel from us back in Utah.  This country is beautiful, and filled with significantly remarkable people.  I’ll kiss the ground as I leave and make another promise to return again someday.  Namaste from us all here in Kullu!


P.S. I don’t know if our team has failed to mention this, and I promise we mean this is the nicest way possible, but we have found an exact adorable replica of an Oompa Loompa. Her name is Muskan and she is the absolute cutest Oompa Loompa you ever will see, but the resemblance is there and we can’t help but get a kick out of it every time we look at her.  Her face is now my phone background and I really don’t know if I will ever be able to change it.

Peace and love;

Maggie Noodles

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