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India Welcomes Us

Message of the Day – Manam irundal Maarkun Undu,  “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

Today we woke up fairly early. Some of us still getting over our jet lag had trouble sleeping. As Audrey pointed out, despite our difficulties, we are all in this together. I think this statement echoes for every aspect of this trip and life itself. From the day I was born my parents strove to teach me that we are all equal. At the end of the day, despite the way we dress, look, speak, and act we are all on race, human. As humans we are all living here on this planet and experiencing it together.

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That being said I think it is our duty as capable human beings to reach out and help anyone in need. We learned today that Global Volunteers wishes to do exactly that. During our morning meeting we created a bulletin board with different goals for our team. The first being ‘to experience the culture.’ The second being ‘to leave a mark.’ The third being ‘to grown ourselves by connecting with others.’ We also listed 20 characteristics of an effective team. These included, but were not limited to; flexibility, trust, common goals, patience, being selfless, and understanding.

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After our team meetings we at lunch and took a break before heading to SEAM Children’s Home. When we pulled up to the gate I could immediately see little faces jumping to look through the window in the door. As it opened a few children came and grabbed my hands. Pulling me inside before even knowing my name. I thought to myself how different it was to see these children reaching for me when in America it would be the exact opposite. I was astonished by how much the kids wanted to learn about me. They wouldn’t even tell me their name until they knew mine. I felt at home in a matter of minutes.
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I found it most impressive that these children could communicate with me so easily. I have taken two years of college level Spanish and I still can maintain a conversation in the language to save my life,  haha. One of the students asked me what I was studying in school. I told him physical therapy and told him that if he gets hurt I’ll be able to help him heal. Then came the most powerful moment of the night. I asked him if he wanted to go to college and he looked at me without hesitation and said, “YES.” This is the kind of moment that shows Global Volunteers is a successful program. Through teams like us they are instilling hope in these children. our service is what will forge their paths to success and I am honored to be a part of that. Children that seem to have so little are dreaming of so much!
Austin
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