Every night after family time I usually walk back from the boy's hostel by myself. It's lovely because the weather is finally perfect and the moon is just beautiful and occasionally on a clear night the stars are pretty incredible. I love this walk because without fail every night I feel an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude. I'm so grateful to be in such a beautiful part of the world. To be honest on my first car ride to the Rising Star Campus beautiful was not one of the many adjectives I would have used to describe India but the more I'm here the more beautiful it becomes. I'm grateful to have this opportunity to refresh myself in between high school and college, to look beyond my high school years and get excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. I feel such deep love for these little kids. Especially the kids in my house but just all of them. They have such a beautiful spirit about them. In our lesson in church on Sunday the branch president talked about the first step to eternal salvation being love. I was a little surprised because I hadn't really thought about that. Then he shared the scripture in 1st John 4:8 which reads, "Behold, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." Reading this I had the impression that these kids so full of love are such a testimony of God, because God is love. Every night as I walk back I think about how hard it is going to be to say goodbye to these kids. That became even more real tonight because it was our last time going to family time. I really can't believe I only have one more day here at Rising Star. I really am going to miss having little boys pulling at my arms and hearing "Medicine, Medicine!!" "Auntie sit with me, sit with me!" I'm going to miss their cute cute little smiles and excitement about life. One of the kids I'm going to miss most is Jeeva. He's cute little Gopi's older brother and he's just a bigger version of Gopi and pretty much just as cute. I'm going to miss calling his name and having him turn around to see the biggest smile on his face and to have him running up to me for a hug. He's my little pal, we always sit together and we always play cards at night. He's a little shy but he's so sweet. I love watching him take care of Gopi, he's a very patient and selfless little kid.
(This is Jeeva, yes I know I look super sweaty, sorry that it's extremely humid here haha. This was right after the kid's talent show. The older kids turned on Tamil music and the kids went INSANE and were dancing like crazy and it was just epic.)
I had another moment of gratitude and love as we were sitting at dinner today. All of the volunteers eat dinner on the roof under a big canopy. We eat our red rice, curry, fruit, veggies (and french fries today yay mondays!) off of banana leaves and we just talk and laugh. I love going around the table to hear everyones Highs and Lows of the last couple of days. The sunsets have progressively gotten brighter and more beautiful and tonight's was so amazing. The sky was so pink and orange behind the palm trees and I was just feeling so grateful. I'm very grateful to have made such good friends this session.
My other powerful moment of the day I guess you could call it was during Medical. There are a couple of jobs you can do when you're on medical duty and people usually fight over who gets to wash the ulcers and oil the feet. But today I wasn't part of that rotation at all I did the Blood Pressure instead. It was easy but in the beginning I just felt like it wasn't as monumental. It turned out to be the best thing for me. I loved being able to talk to the patients without having a mask on and a lot of work to do. I just got to sit right next to them, pat their shoulder, hold their hand, try to get them to dance and attempt at speaking Tamil with them. The colony we were in today was a big one and the people there were so amazing. They had such a unique happiness about them. There was one lady who didn't have legs from her knees on so she knelt on a scooter type thing. She was beautiful and I sat on the floor next to her as I took her blood pressure and held her hand as she got her glucose taken and I was so inspired by her. I thought seeing the people with leprosy would just make me feel so sad for them but it hasn't been like that. Every time I've gone to medical I've left feeling so happy and uplifted. I think it's because most of these people don't feel sorry for themselves. They are humble and have learned how to be really happy and that's what is inspiring.