Thursday, July 27, 2017

Making a Difference

In less than 6 hours I get to wrap my arms around this beautiful girl. I get to squeeze her and love her and kiss her sweet face. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

She has been in India for two weeks with GLA {Global Leadership Adventures}. It is a Peace Corps type program for youth. {Fabulous program offering opportunities all over the world}. 
Along with falling in love with the country, she volunteered at a daycare majority of her a space smaller than her bedroom, with more than a dozen kids and very limited supplies. And they did not speak English. 

She took a few Hindi classes, along with photojournalism and culture classes. The emphasis of the program was journalism. She was able to spend time in homes of locals, interviewing them and learning about their way of life. When not volunteering, time was spent on a project. She made a documentary and presented it on their final day at home base.

She was the only student from Arizona in the program, but she made some life long friendships with others from around the globe.

On one of their final days, they had an India fun day. Earlier in the week they had visited a fabric store and tailor where they picked out colors and were fitted for a traditional Sari. At their fun day they learned how to tie them, received Henna tattoos, learned Bollywood dance, listened to traditional music and studied various other things about the culture.

Some other highlights:

  • visiting the Dalai Lama Temple
  • touring a rice farm where everything is organic and sustainable
  • the home base is in the Himalayas {she said, "we are literally staying in the clouds}!
  • visiting the Taj Mahal
  • lots of rain...big thunderstorms
  • liking traditional chai tea

I can't begin to express how proud I am. She had one little bout of homesickness in the beginning {normal}, but other than that...she soaked it all in and cannot wait to go back. She said she did not expect to fall so hard for the beautiful country and people.

I'm proud of her courage. She didn't know a soul, but she boarded that plane and made new friends. It was close to 30 hours of travel to Delhi...then an additional 7-8 to home base.

I'm proud of her heart. She embraced those around her. She loves the girls in her group...coming from all over the map. And...she loves the locals she met and worked, adults, all of them.
I know in my heart they must be good people too...because she is one of the greatest judges of character I know. She can see people for who they are and grows with them.  When I spoke to her on her last full day she said they were all crying and sad to leave. Everyone was sad to leave each other, but she said she was sad to leave the people in the village. She could snapchat her friends she made in the group, but not the locals that touched her heart.

She is a great human being and I can't wait to see what all she will offer this beautiful world of ours.

*Although she likes Indian food...she is craving Mexican food like there is tomorrow. Her homecoming dinner? Someburros. :)
{And home made cookies, of course}.

{view from her room}