Well, we made it. We survived 24 hours of plane rides, 200 hours of teaching, and 45 days in India. The final day felt so far away at the start of the journey but now is upon us within a blink of an eye. Leaving is bittersweet. I cannot wait to go back home and see my family, but sad to leave my school, teachers, and Sheral. This past week was filled with many emotions and happy memories
School this week was normal but full of many “lasts”. It was out last monday, my last masala dosa, my last time driving to school, and my last time with my students. The last week had many students asking, “Ma’am, can you please stay another week? How about you come back in 2 months? A year?”. Just when I started to get really comfortable and created amazing connections with the students, it was time to pack our bags and head home. It was also hard to leave the amazing teachers ans staff at DPS North. My teacher and I become close friends and got into an amazing groove co-teaching. All the staff at my school were so friendly and always made sure I was fed well and taken care of. The vice principal, Geetha, was outstanding and even made me and Kelley food during the week. It is sad to leave her and all the other incredible people I met here.
Our goodbye presentation was filled with tears as we finally closed the India chapter of our lives (at least for now). Everyone shared how this experience shaped their lives and their gratitude for every person who was involved in this trip. Over the past 6 weeks, I have grown as a teacher and a person. I have learned patience, kindness, and gratitude. 40 shouting kids in a classroom is overwhelming but eventually I learned to be patient and answer their questions or grade their books. Everyone here has treated us with nothing but kindness and has changed my entire perspective on how I want to treat others. Finally, I have learned to be thankful. Thankful for what I have, where I live, and thankful for all the amazing people I have met in India. I cannot thank Sheral enough for being our India mom and making sure we are safe and having the best time of our lives. I am thankful for Chad for leaving his family and coming with us to India. I am thankful for my group; I have made some lifelong friends and some unforgettable memories with them. From late night dance parties in room 5 to petting elephants, we have grown together and I will cherish every memory.
Describing our time here is hard to put into words. I am still growing and learning from this experience. This quote from the song ‘For Good’ from the musical Wicked sums up my experience in India:
“It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime.
So, let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you.
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have rewritten mine
By being my friend”Wicked