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Rice, Mice, Lice and Sound Advice

November 30, 2012 - All Posts, 2012 Operation Shakti

A Primer For Future YMAD Leaders
We have always been pretty easy going but, if we have learned anything this year it is to go with the flow.  When working with teens, the experience is most similar to herding cats.  In India the experience is compounded by a myriad of variables.  Flight schedules, missing busses, strange food, the “return” of same strange food, eager teenage Indian boys and the like.  We have learned that our primary responsibility in India was to manage poop in its many forms.  Are you going?  Are you going too much? Is the plumbing in your room working?  Is it working too much?  It is a never ending challenge to keep everyone healthy and happy and it seems that pooping is the key to much of it.  Sort of.  It turns out that once here and managing the poop, miracles happen and lives change.  Visas go through at beyond the last moment and against impossible odds and a team is made whole in an exciting reveal.  Play grounds appear where before there was only compacted dirt.  Young girls have their matted and lice infested hair washed and styled by some of the most loving and kind  teens the girls have ever had the opportunity to be loved by.  Lessons are taught and english is learned by teachers who not only teach the words but the meanings.  By teachers who are engaged, loving, non judgmental and falling heart and soul in love.  The confidence and self esteem of every student was lifted as twenty five teens from “OOtah” wrapped their arms and their hearts around every young student they came in contact with.  This experience has exceeded our every hope and expectation.

Robert and JoDee, the teens of Operation Shakti have represented YMAD to the people, teachers, interpreters and students of West Bengal to perfection.  Lessons were taught, english was learned, spirits were lifted and lives were changed.

Parents, your teens have been and are amazing.  Each of you should be proud beyond proud of their behavior and performance here.  We could not be more thrilled to return them to you.  (I mean that in a good way!)  Be patient with them as they struggle to share their experience with you.  The YMAD India experience is very tender.  Soon we will greet you in the Salt Lake airport.  As your son or daughter rushes to you look into their eyes.  You will see a spark, a twinkle, a flame.  A change that only comes when your heart, soul and body is fully engaged in the service of others.

Thank you for your love.  Thank you for your support.


All our love,

Jeff and Jane

6 Responses to “Rice, Mice, Lice and Sound Advice”

  1. Thank YOU Jeff and Jane, for your love and support.

  2. Jane and Jeff,Know one will ever know the blood sweat, and tears that go into leading an expedition. Thanks for all of your love time and sacrifice. You are AWESOME. We are lucky to have you play in the YMAD sand box.

  3. Jane and Jeff (and all the other leaders)Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work, leadership, kindness, love and sacrifice. None of it has gone unnoticed. These kids lives will be changed forever in a good way, a great way! You are the vehicle in large part through which these experiences could occur.
    Thank you so much!

  4. My tears are many and flowing as I continue to share in this journey through word and pictures. Thank you Jane and Jeff and leaders, as well as the Bairds for this incredible experience. My gratitude immense for your time, love and efforts in honor of our children and the children of India. You are a blessing and a gift that I will always cherish. Words are merely not enough. Thank you from my heart for sharing your lives, your talents and your love. Your influence and friendship will remain constant in our lives.

  5. Words can’t even begin to express how grateful we are to all of you amazing leaders for giving these teens a memorable and life changing experience. It has been such a blessing to know that have been watched over, protected and cared for by each of you. Thank you for all of your sacrifices and the sacrifices of your families.

  6. Jeff and Jane, Your sacrifice of time and energy is so amazing. You not only have made a difference in Taylor’s life but mine, as well. You are a great example of unconditional love, patience, and dedication to making a difference. Thank you doesn’t say it enough. You Rock!

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