Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Best Two Days Of My Life

Sunday and today were honestly the best two days of my entire life (at least so far). On Sunday our group was blessed enough to see the Dalai Lama twice: once driving past us on the street and once getting into a car as he was leaving a lecture. To see him the second time, we trekked up yet another mountainside to listen in on the Dalai Lama's lecture to some students. The translation was a bit rough to understand at times, but it was so interesting to hear to what he had to say and extremely exciting to see his beautiful, big smile twice in one day. Later that day we went to Tong-Len and met some of the sweetest kids in the world. I was overwhelmed by how many of them hugged me and took my hand so quickly without even knowing me. No stranger has ever looked more excited to hug me than Pinky did. There were at least three girls named Pinky, but there is no way I will ever confuse this girl with anyone else. I didn't think any smile could be more genuine and bright than the Dalai Lama's, but Pinky's smile surely proved me wrong. Pinky, Nitu, Nisha, Vishal, Rainu, and so many other children laughed and played with me for hours. They took great pride in showing me their beds in the hostel and were thrilled when I gave them my email address so they could write to me later. I have never had more fun doing anything in my life compared to the time we spent playing with those kids. We played soccer, tag, hand games, pick up sticks, sang, got henna done, ran away from John's farting friends, and so much more. I gave some of the children nail polish, my earrings, and some bracelets I was wearing. It took my by surprise when they refused to take my gifts unless I took theirs. Pinky and Rainu gave me their favorite bracelets and Nisha put a beautiful henna design on me. As of right now, if there was any day I could relive of my life, it would be that one. I have never felt so loved and have never experienced such pure happiness than I did on that Sunday.

 The only other day that even compares to Sunday was today. We headed down to the slum in which we met more amazing, enthusiastic children. Seeing their faces when we pulled out little pieces of candy and offered to paint their nails was priceless. Even the boys asked for one of their nails to be painted because some colors looked cool to them. Giving these children small toys put smiles on their faces that were bigger than those most children have on Christmas. It was so refreshing to see children that are so easily pleased, but at the same time it was heartbreaking. It's difficult to put an experience like that into words, but it's one experience I truly believe everyone needs to have. Helping these kids out with their daily lessons (which included math, reading, writing, and more) was yet another thing I will never forget. They have impressive techniques which allow them to solve even the most intense math problems with such ease. Some of the multiplication and division problems were ones that I could see my older brother struggle over and most likely whip out a calculator to solve. Luckily I picked up some tips that I can use to help him out when I get back.

I don't know when I'll be able to come, but I know I'll be back at Tong-Len one day. Some how, some way, I'll come back and visit these beautiful children again. I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity to come and see a world so different from the one I grew up in. Thank you to my parents for helping me come on this trip, thank you Dr. Maher and Aaron for planning it all, and thank you India for the best trip of my life. 

1 comment:

  1. So thrilled you are getting so much out of this experience. Be sure to share your reflections with others in the College upon your return!


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