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Defining Moments – Abbey Park

November 26, 2013 - All Posts, 2013 Operation: Akata

Here in India there is something to take out of every moment and most of the time it seems impossible to take it all because there is so much to take. Every morning on our drive to the school Michele, my group leader, reminds the group to take the most out of the day that we can. I’ve loved having this daily advice. While I’ve been here there have been a million smiles, things that have been pretty hard to see, sad tears and tears of joy, but somewhere in between all of that there have been about five moments that I know I will always remember. These are my defining moments that have really changed me and I’d like to share a few.


On Sunday at our cultural exchange we got to eat lunch with all the girls and the teens that came from close by villages who came to watch. All of them, us Ymad teens and our leaders sat down in 6 long neat rows on the floor in the school room to eat. Michele came up to me and informed me that we were not going to use our utensils because none of the girls or other teens had been given any because they always eat with their hands. I thought this was the neatest idea. I was very humbled through this experience. When first started eating the cooks and the teens sitting in the row facing us were all very confused and looked at us funny. I was sitting by Shirley and Isaac, but I as we ate I didn’t say much. I realized a lot durning this meal. I realized we may look completely different, speak different languages, and lead totally different lives but we aren’t all that different after all. I realized how I take for granted even the smallest things in my life and in this case it was over something that I’ve never thought to be super significant.. A fork. Another defining moment for me was at night on the streets of Baruipur. The other night a couple of kids, Michele, Bina, and I went out to go shopping. As we were walking back to Nishtha, Bina stopped us all to buy us a treat. It was some sketchy Indian stand and we had no idea what in the world we were about to eat, but that’s not the point. Bina, who has nothing, stopped us to do what she could for us. She didn’t have to do that or anything for us and we all know that but the fact that she did meant a lot to me and has had a big effect on me.


These stories may not mean much to anyone reading this but to the people who went in the group last year or anyone affiliated with ymad we all know now what you mean when you told us how hard it is to explain and how no one else understands. I’m so blessed to be here and Mommy I want you to know how much I love you. XOXOXO

3 Responses to “Defining Moments – Abbey Park”

  1. These stories do mean a lot!!! Even for those of us who have never been close to India. Through all these stories, we can feel the love of humanity!

  2. I can’t get enough of these defining moments. Thank you Abby!

  3. Happy Thanks Giving. Who knew that you can be so thankful for simple things like a fork. I love that you are getting what to really be thankful for. I love your moments!

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