Emma Graul Blog #7: 30 Hours Left

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. 

Keyboard class

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. 

The DPS North crew

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”

Me and Sheral

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