Friday, December 3, 2010

Return Celebration

Many of you are anxious to hear from the teens first hand! We have set up a great venue for this:

Saturday, January 8th, 2011
It will be held at the Salt Lake Public Library in their Auditorium
(210 East 400 South)
It will start at 3:00 PM and go till about 4:15 PM

Several teens will speak and each group will put together a movie/slideshow of thier experiences. It will be a great way to introduce potential YMAD teens to the program so please let the great teens in your area know about it!

Please be aware that the underground parking at the Library is NOT very accomidating and you are better off parking on the street.

I will be sending out an email as well! See you at the airport!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I know you are excited for your travelers to come home! Some of you have asked about the return flight info.

They will start there journey home Friday morning our time around 10:30 AM.

Delhi to Singapore Flight #407 (Singapore Air)

Singapore to San Francisco Flight #16 (Singapore Air)

San Francisco to Salt Lake Flight #6418 (United Air) Arriving at 8:29 PM!!

I can't believe they will be home so soon!

Kayla Orr

What I thought of India at the start of the trip…
I-Impossible to be clean
N-Nasty food
I-Intense, especially on the roads
A- Awkward… when you can’t understand what anyone is saying around you and always have Indian men’s eyes glued to you

Once I took time to truly open my eyes to see and understand this beautiful country….

I-Immovable hearts filled of happiness
N- Nicest people I’ve ever encountered in my life
D- Different culture, yet it’s so special in it’s own way
I-Intelligent people that learn quickly
A-Absolutely AMAZING!!

India can change you or break you depending on how you let it affect you. Yes, there are people sleeping on the streets that you’re walking on when it’s freezing at night. Yes, you see many different kinds of diseases and handicaps that you never thought even existed. Yes, there are people at every age begging at your feet for anything, and you know that most of the girls that look the age of your younger fourteen year old sister with a baby in their arms have pimps that will take whatever you give them. Yes, every wrapper you unravel you will find the garbage for on all the streets of India. Yes, you will think your family should pick out a grave sight for you every time you step foot out on the streets here (whether it’s in a vehicle or on foot). Yes, all the food you eat (whether you know what it is or not) will most likely have curry in it. Yes, if you are a female (especially with blonde hair) you will feel like a celebrity wanting to go into hiding due to everyone staring and trying to take pictures of you pretty much everywhere you go. Yes, I promise all this is true but I also promise that your heart will never fill so full of love and compassion. You can’t escape anything, but you can learn to love it.

You will love the people of India. When I say they are the nicest people I’ve ever met, I meant it! The people on the streets that are tucking themselves in to go to sleep on the cold wet ground are the ones telling you “Goodnight” when all you’re thinking of is crawling into your bed back at home. They have nothing yet they’re the ones greeting you on the streets first thing in the morning with the biggest smiles. People watch out for each other here, especially the drivers. When the road looks as if only one car can get pass well don’t think to soon… cuz I promise a big bus and an SUV will make it even with a 1,000 ft drop off on one side. The drivers always help each other out with the sounds of their horns. It literally is a form of communication here (especially when blinkers don’t exist). Indians are very hard workers and definitely learn fast, especially when it means their future. People have to work hard to fend for themselves. The children in the orphanages were very fast learners and we were able to teach them quite a bit, but they still taught us more. I know what it’s like to have a room full of students not listening to a word you say, or the frustration that comes when you want them to retain information, and understand a specific concept. But I do know the happiness that comes when a light bulb goes on in one child’s head, and then shortly after they all start to understand you.

I know what it means to have a heart full of love and service. Those kids served me everyday by sharing a smile, hug, or kiss with me, or filling a little hand slip into mine to help lead me up a steep hill when I wanted to give up. The people of India never stopped loving and serving me, and now I don’t want to stop either.

-Kayla Orr


So…. To most of the people in Shillai I am Shakira… a girl from the high school that we did the cultural exchange at told Nisha, our translator, that I looked like Shakira and I guess word got out in the village cause a couple days later a little girl came running up behind me screaming “SHAKIRA SHAKIRA!!!.... AUTOGRAPH PLEASE!” and handed me her notebook. It was the cutest thing, so I let her and a lot of the other people believe that I am Shakira haha.
It’s so indescribable though, everything that has happened in the time spent here. We left Shillai on Tuesday morning and I have to say that saying goodbye to the kids at my school was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Goodbyes are never easy, and this kind is even harder to explain. Those kids mean the world to me and I feel so lucky with the school and teachers I got to work with, everyone and everything in Shillai is amazing, even the spiders the size of my fist, the cow poop that you step in, and the food I’ve gotten sick from. I LOVE IT ALL! I just can’t even believe that what we came here to do is already over.. I want to go back to the beginning and do it all again, even the 14 hour flight. Mom and dad, I just might purposely get lost and stay here the rest of my life…. Just kidding. But really…. ANYWAYS.. there is so much I could say but I don’t even know how, and other people are waiting to blog…. oh but I did swim in the Ganges river, so incredible!
p.s. I want a fat, juicy cheeseburger so bad right now. K bye.

Will Pittam

I’m saying this in advance: I’m sorry if any of this is weird because I just woke up and have no idea how long I’ve been out or where the heck I am :P. Right now, we’re on a bus from Rishikesh to Delhi, where we’ll be shopping and getting on a plane to go back to the good old U.S. and A. I’m excited to go back, but I’ve loved every second I’ve been here, and will really miss it. This has been a truly amazing experience. The kids we worked with are incredible and have so much potential. They are so bright, loving, and happy, and saying good-bye to them was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I really hope our work here can lay a base for something that will change their lives forever. I’ve also come to love the rest of the people of India. They are able to live simply and help each other out. Opposed to the “Me, Me, Me” mentality of Americans, they have a mentality of “We, We, We.” Seeing that concept in action makes me want to live like that back home

This experience has been incredible and I’m grateful for everyone who made it happen from the Baird and Davis families, Raj, Rakesh, all the adult leaders, the translators, and all the YMAD kids. I love you all! . I’ve learned so much here, and my outlook has changed in many things. I’ve really come to love this country and want to come back someday. As our cricket buddies from Shillai would chant, “This is My India”

John Koelliker

After waking up at 4 a.m. this morning hearing Hindu chanting and singing, blasting throughout the city, I had a while to think about what this trip really meant to me. A week before I left I was asked how actually going to India would be any better than just gathering the supplies and sending them out there. This really bothered me because although I know this is an amazing experience for me, does it really have a long lasting influence on the kids? Before we got to Shillai I asked a lot of adult leaders and other kids what they thought, but I was still uncertain. After we left the schools on Monday, there was no doubt in my mind that we changed their lives forever.
Not only did they learn a lot but we gave them T-shirts, candy, cricket bats, school supplies, hats, socks, blankets, shoes, pants, shirts, and sweaters. However, we gave those kids much more than those material possessions. Our most important gifts to the children cannot simply be distributed in supply packages. The gifts that YMAD gives to children are personal and complex, yet the results are far-reaching. Without YMAD, those children are nothing more than a statistic, and they cannot reach their full potential. They cannot understand that there is another world out there. They cannot be given the foundation, confidence, or hope. And they most definitely cannot be known as individuals that were determined to escape poverty. And that is why YMAD is so amazing. We change the world, one smile at a time.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

River Rafting

It is official; Your children never want to leave India! I guess they went on their river rafting extravaganza today. We thought it was going to be a nice float down the river...

Apparently it was way more fun then that! The kids said there were HUGE rapids and the view was amazing and they loved it! I heard that Chad made things even more exciting when he started throwing people overboard!

They are spending their last night in Rishikesh and will head to Delhi in the morning. Then they spend the night in Delhi and they are hoping to have a few hours of shopping time before they get on the plane home.

The internet has been too slow to upload any pictures but they promised they would post some when they got to Delhi!