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It’s been half a week since I’ve returned from India. I already miss the SIT staff, DAV and SPYM children, and of course, the authentic Indian paneer. Over the past couple days, and as I’ve packed up for school, I’ve found myself taking more and more breaks to flip through my ACE journal. I made it a point to journal every other day or so. My grandmother told me I’d forget otherwise. With so many new experiences each day, she was right.

One of the recurring themes in my journal is sports. I never knew just how powerful sports could truly be. It was special to see sports transcend language and culture. At SPYM, many of the children only spoke Hindi. Despite this, teaching games was not as hard as we had originally thought. Through hand gestures and demonstrations, we were always able to communicate well with the children.

India challenged me by forcing me to experience wide range of emotions. Most days I was eager, curious, and passionate. Yet there were also times and particular situations that left me feeling insignificant, conflicted, and drained. Although our ACE group was composed of all different sports, in Delhi, we were all on the same team. I never felt alone because of them. At night, we would discuss each of our experiences, emotions, and daily thoughts. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity to experience life in another way.

writing in hindi on a chalkboard

Motivational message at SPYM next to the area where sports are played.

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