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Reflections from an Agra-bound train

Hello!!! Sophie here. We are currently on the train to Agra from Jaipur. Many of us are reading, journaling or just looking out the window (are you proud dad?). When we arrived to the train station at 7am we were all pretty tired and hungry so as soon as we saw a small store selling many types of Indian cookies, we went straight for it. Ariana G bought 6 types of cookies for 70 rupees (less than 1 dollar). AND the cookies are so good!!! Anyways, we have about 3 and a half more hours on the train until we get to Agra. I cannot wait to see the Taj Mahal and take many photographs! See you soon. Miss you guys❤

Hi!! It’s Dylan. We have been so crazy busy this whole trip, but I’ve been having the most amazing time! To put it in perspective, mom and dad– I’m five days behind on journaling, and you know how seriously I take journaling;) Anyways, I think all the parents will be thrilled to know how much sleep we’ve been getting. We’ve been on our feet all day everyday, so we go to bed at like 930pm and wake up at 730am. Last night was one of my favorite parts of the trip so far. The children at Vatsalya had an adorable farewell ceremony for us that included all of them standing up one by one to thank us for playing with them, coming to visit and painting the school. They talked in Hindi and someone translated it. Afterwards, we did the same in English so that they also understood how much we appreciated and cherished our time there. It was definitely a hard goodbye, but I can say on everyone’s behalf that we are very excited for the next part of our trip. See you soon! Miss you!!❤

Hey everyone! I am also going to talk abut the goodbye ceremony because it meant so much to me. When the kids thanked us during the ceremony, a little girl that I became close friends with, Narmada, stood up and personally told me how grateful she was to play with me and how she will miss her didi(means elder sister) Faith. This meant so much to me because I love knowing that I impacted her life in such a short time. Then after we all had a dance party which was so much fun because the kids taught us traditional Indian dances. Also during the dance party, I also danced with Narmada. I really loved my experience at Vatsalya and all of the kids that I became friends with. I’m really going to miss Vatsalya but I am so excited to see the Taj Mahal!
-Faith Hernandez 20

Hello! We’ve had such an amazing experience the last 5 days in Jaipur. We saw a fort, went to Chowki Dhani, and spent lots of time with the children at Vatsalya playing and doing service projects. The fort architecture was unbelievable, and we took some great photos. At Chowki Dhani, we ate Rajasthani food and watched performances like fire breathing and women balancing a stack of pots on their heads – while dancing on cups. Playing with the children at Vatsalya was one of my most favorite moments! I spoke to them in Hindi, and translated for others which made having a discussion much easier. In our free time, we cleaned the solar panels that supplied energy to the whole organization and learned about the benefits of solar energy. I hope to come back to Vatsalya very soon!
– Esha Sankhala ‘20