Thursday, August 2, 2012

Saying Goodbye

I cannot believe that I have been living in India for over two weeks.

We left rising star at three this morning and I said bye to Anan when he dropped us off at the airport. What a special friend.

It's crazy the friends I've made here I will probably never see again.

I hope the best for them.

My sweet girls made me cry last night. I didn't think I would. 

I sat by Mary, Amsa, Vennemallar, Suba, Durga and Rishma during the choir and Life Dance performances.

They are precious.

All the people in their lives who love them, leave them.

Their parents sent them to this boarding school to have a better life, but that means leaving them.  Volunteers come in every three weeks who say they love them but have to leave as well.

I hope my girls learn a lot at Rising Star, work hard and keep loving each other.

Amsa was mad at me because I let Mary video record the program. She wouldn't talk to me.  I let Vennemallar video after Mary but Vennemallar gave the camera to Amsa. I told Vennemallar she's a good friend. She smiled at me.

I started to tear up during the last Life Dance performance to a David Archuleta song about leprosy.

My sweet girls came up to me, wiped my tears and asked me, "Auntie, why are you crying?"

I kneeled down, kissed their cheeks and told them it's because I'm going to miss them.

All the volunteers stood in a line and family by family, the kids walked down the line to say goodbye.

My girls were first but they all walked back behind our line to say goodbye to me again. Suba was bawling and my three girls Mary, Amsa and Vennemallar all gave me extra hugs. Mary stayed the longest.

She kept saying goodbye and waving as she walked away.

She was the first to say hi to me when I arrived and the last to say goodbye.  I LOVE HER.

My little boy Karthith was so cute. He gave me a big shy hug and I gave him a kiss on the cheek. All his buddies teased him for it. I wish I could have sung him to sleep one last time. I hope he stays sweet.

I have so much love for these kids that I had only known for a short period of time.

Love is powerful. Love given unconditionally knowns no limits. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Carrying piles of bricks and bags of sand...

reminds me to let go.

This morning was my group's fourth time on the construction rotation. Some groups have only done it twice.

In all honesty, I am grateful my group did the most construction. Manual labor is pretty much my calling in life. 

Construction was the rotation that built team camaraderie. Let's just say my team had lots of bonding.  

Plus, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing something actually built from hard work.

For construction we were working in one of the leprosy colonies by piling supplies to make new toilets for people's houses. 

All day we moved sand and bricks to their prospective locations. At times it seemed like we were moving sand and bricks just to have something to do.

My team was hilarious. We always found ways to keep ourselves entertained during the monotony of the day. 

We sang, danced, made videos and tried as hard as we could to meet the individuals we were serving. 

Though the days were long and hot we always had a great time. 

This morning I was goofing around at construction, the only thing that keeps my team working through the sweltering heat. I started making up songs. I thought I was Taylor Swift. 

I started singing a song about the bricks. 

My song lyrics related carrying burdens or heartache like carry bricks. They are heavy, uncomfortable  and I couldn't wait to put them down. 

We had to walk down a long path carrying the bricks. That path reminded me of my path of life. 

Even though I can't wait to drop my burdens and the path is long, I keep carrying them. Why don't I put them down when I need to?

All I have to do is give my burdens to the Lord, utilize the atonement and move on. 

It is so great that I do make mistakes because that means I'll have the opportunity to learn from them. 

My goal for this summer was to figure out which direction to take my life. I thought traveling would give me a different perspective from which to analyze myself. 

It did just that.

But I didn't get the answers I expected. 

We have two sayings at Rising Star. 

"When in India" and "This is India." Both sayings explain that things aren't always going to go as expected or how they would typically, but in India it's okay. 

I have learned that life isn't always going to go as I had expected. I have always known that, but thought I was the exception. 

I have relied on the Lord a lot while out here to get me though the changes that come with growing up.

Taking my concerns to the Lord has helped a lot. I have been able to feel better about situations I had expected to be a harder trial. 

There is a quite confidence that comes from having faith that the Lord will provide opportunities for peace, joy and happiness if I only follow his commandments. 

Having a relationship with my Savior has been immensely important while figuring out the direction my life will take. 

I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the relationship I have built with Him and am constantly trying to strengthen.

He takes my burdens and leads me down my path in the direction that will be best for me. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two Wheels and Animal Prints

Anan always has high adventure activities planned for us after doing medical service in the colonies. 

This week he took us to the ZOO! 

We were going to ride a golf cart around the zoo as a group, but instead we decided to ride bikes! 

A man wanted his son in our picture and I'm sorry but I gave him a wrong email address when he told me he wanted to send the picture to me. I had one on my camera, I didn't need it. 

The bikes were the best part of going to the zoo. 

Everyone was so excited to ride bikes except for my roommate from South Africa, Maryke. I was not a thoughtful roommate at all. Before we left for the colony she told me she wasn't feeling well. I completely forgot until she had to stop biking and sit out the rest of the day. Whoops. 

The funny thing about the zoo in India is it has animals that we see all the time in Utah, like deer. 

Anan took us to see the deer, otters and peacocks; all of which are pretty common. 

We told him we wanted to see the big animals, but he had spent so much time taking us around the bird section that we had to speed through seeing the tigers, giraffes and elephants. 

Having red rice and curry every night gets pretty boring, so after begging and begging Anan took us to Pizza Hut. 

I shared with my starving roommates back at Rising Star.

Pizza Hut is SUPER.