By Mollie Gillespie

With our departure for India less than a month away, I’m already restless with anticipation. I’ve traveled a bit before, but never so far, and I can’t help but wonder how I’ll be able to endure the long plane rides as I’m sure my excitement, and my restlessness, will only grow from here. Admittedly, though, part of what I’m feeling could be attributed to nerves. I have a bit of experience and I definitely feel like I’m going in prepared – I’ve been a camp counselor for a few summers and I’ve already been part of a couple service trips abroad – but part of me wonders if anything could truly prepare me for this trip.

I’ve never been to India, so my main impressions have arisen from films starring Dev Patel (exactly 2 of them take place in India) or that one Cheetah Girls movie, which I enjoyed more than I’d like to admit. Needless to say, the accuracy of base of knowledge is questionable at best. It has, however, suggested that India can provide somewhat of a sensory overload in the best way possible– the vibrant colors and flavors, the cacophony of the streets, the endless throngs of people.

I won’t be experiencing it all as a tourist, though. More than anything, I’m excited for my role with Crossover. I think back fondly to weeks spent at summer basketball camps. I remember the frustration I felt working through new skills followed by the sense of pride and achievement I felt when I mastered them. I recall all the friendships I made and the great mentors and friends I had in my coaches. I only hope that I can do the same for the kids we’ll be coaching. I’ve been reflecting a lot on the favorite counselors and coaches I’ve had, and what made them so effective. I plan to draw on that to help these kids have a great time-hopefully they’ll enjoy their Crossover experience as much as I’m sure I’ll be enjoying mine.

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