Gabriella Miller Blog #7: My Final Goodbyes

Here we are… we made it to our final day in Bangalore, India. This past week has been filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. During the week, I spent every day in my classrooms at Magnolia taking in every moment I could. I spent time interacting with the students, teaching, and being around my teachers as much as I could. On Thursday, I also got the opportunity to spend a fun day with my second grade classes on their field trip to the movie theater. When we went to see the Lion King, the children were all excited to have me there with them and were even more excited to see the movie in 3-D. Because all of the days this week were full of fun events and memories, the week flew by. In a blink of an eye, it was already Friday. 

On Friday morning, Laura and I decided to wear our saris to school as our final hoorah. When we got there, some of our teachers were kind enough to wrap us in the fabric and make us feel special for wearing the traditional Indian wear. When we walked in the halls, the students and other teachers were sweet and supportive of us wearing our saris. The only problem was when students approached us and asked what the occasion was for wearing it, I had to tell them that it was my final day at Magnolia.

Going around to each of my classes for the last time on Friday was one of the saddest days that I have had in awhile. My students kept asking me when I was coming back to India, or why I had to leave. They wrote me cute notes, gave me their parents phone numbers, and would tell me not to be sad (since most of the day I was crying). All that went through my mind was how much I was going to miss all of them and how hard it was to leave them. On top of this, I had to say goodbye to each of my teachers that I worked with over these six weeks. As I gave them all hugs along with reassurance to keep in contact, I cried many tears. My teachers have unexpectedly become some of the biggest mentors in my life. Looking back, I never thought that I would be emotional by the end. These relationships that I had made sneakily became some of the strongest ones that I’ve ever had. As Friday ended with a farewell party put on by our teachers for us, I realized how lucky I am to have met these incredible people and to have them in my life.

My time here in India has been so outstanding that I cannot even put it into words. I feel as if I finally have begun to feel comfortable with the people, customs, and everyday living here and now our trip is over. I do not think I can ever fully express how thankful I am to be able to have this journey in India. It has been such a transformative, life changing experience for me, and I believe this trip has made a positive impact on who I am as a person. I will truly miss all of the smiling faces of students, the constant noise of the city, and our fun roomie nights in our cozy little home at Casa Cottage. I will never forget the people I have met here and their impact that they have made in my life. Thank you to everyone who made my time in India amazing (my group, Sheral from Gen Next, my students, and my teachers), and to the people who supported me in getting to India in the first place. While I have been here, I have made so many memories and strong relationships that will last me a lifetime. With this in mind, all I have to say is that even though it is hard to say goodbye, I know that I will always have a piece of India in my heart forever.


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