By Kiran Shastri
Week one in Chennai with team crossover has concluded. The weekend relaxation was much needed to refuel our minds and bodies for another full week with these amazing and energetic kids. Week one tested every aspect possible for us – the heat, the long bus rides, and 500 kids all challenged us mentally and physically.
And it added to our overall amazing once in a lifetime experience.
The campers come early to wait at the entrance for us upon our arrival. They rush to our bus forming a huge crowd, pushing and shoving just to a get a high five from us. I would compare it to the 1992 dream team in Barcelona, who faced mobs of people every place they went to.
Every day the kids in my homeroom ask me “Kiran sir, how was your day today?” , “Kiran sir, would you like some of my food? I want to share.” Their dinner consists of packaged crackers and some fruit. And yet they still want to share with me and make sure I’m not hungry.
I’ve never seen such an appreciative and caring group of kids. These kids don’t have much in life, yet it doesn’t seem to effect their daily activities. During the week we visit some of the schools of the students who participate in our camp, and every kid at school is eager to learn with a huge smile on their face and appreciating every single detail they are being taught. These kids then come straight to our camp after school to continue learning.
It’s cliche to say these kids in one week have changed my perspective on life, but it’s true I’ve never been exposed to such true appreciation and happiness. The little things I’ve learned in one week from these kids are more influential in my life then some of the things I’ve been taught my whole life.
I can’t wait for what week two has in store.