We started off the day with a delicious breakfast before we finally began our project. Our goal is to help the workers construct another guest house at KACH. We carried and placed lots of heavy stones, learned how to mix cement, and hauled bags of sand from one point to another. In between our project time, we had a relaxing break for tea time and ate tasty porridge. After we finished our work for the day, our group took an afternoon hike to see two waterfalls. Some of us slipped in mud and completely dirtied our clothes. The view was utterly breathtaking and the occasional sprays of water were much appreciated after the tiring hike. Once we got the back to KACH, we had some free time before dinner at Tiriji. After our delicious dinner, we played a hand game (shoutout to Felix!) and “Indian Chief”. Our group laughed and bonded a lot today.
Before going on this trip, I was beyond nervous about spending eighteen days with complete strangers while working with IPI at KACH. As soon as we arrived at KACH, all of my previous feelings of hesitance and nervousness completely disappeared. From the laughter of the children playing soccer with students, to the delighted smiles of our team members receiving flowers from the kids, I felt truly at peace with myself and I was reminded of why I initially wanted to go on this trip. The anecdotes I mentioned are what first came to mind after we had a discussion today about the real intent of service groups. As opposed to other organizations, SSTS focuses on providing locals with what they need in the moment, while teaching students how to be more aware and educated of local issues. The little moments I have with the children especially remind me and others of our real inspiration on this trip. We are here to make a difference in these children’s and adult’s lives by listening to their needs and effectively helping them meet their needs.
As you can tell, our group had quite an eventful day. Although so many amazing things happened, my absolute favorite moment from today was when I made a connection with a little boy. He is probably too young to go to school and he was playing with a soccer ball in the morning. I smiled at him and asked him if he wanted to play, but I don’t think he learned English yet. Later on in the day, he kept smiling at me and and he even tried to follow me into the guesthouse! This is my favorite moment from today because not only is the little boy absolutely adorable, but I feel that we have a real connection despite not conversing with each other. – his smiles and laughs say everything.
– Dilynne Hsu
P.S. Mom, Dad, Lindsay, and Chase: I love you guys and I’m having an amazing time, see you soon.