Just thinking about my trip to India would give me a jolt of excitement, then nervousness and soon followed with just a bit of fear! At 16 years old, this would be the furthest and the longest that I would be away. Back in the planning stage, my parents asked why I didn’t check with my friends and see if someone could join me. Right from the start, I knew I could do it on my own. For me this trip was about helping to make a different in my global community, but it was also about finding my courage.
India is such a beautiful country; it has the most incredible buildings, breath-taking countryside and kind welcoming people. I loved it!
I was excited when Spencer West joined us for a few days, because he was the one who inspired me to become involved with Me to We. I first met him when I helped at the Edmonton “We walk for Water” event. It was there that I heard the Mamas from Kenya explain how far each day they walk for water.
So for me the most powerful day of this entire trip was our “Water Walk” with the Mamas. We actually helped carry jugs of water (ours were much smaller) on our heads. It was so heavy and the Mamas do it everyday, sometimes more than just once. Bringing clean water to each village is going to change their lives in such a powerful way.
Working on the build site was hard and hot work, but everyday you could see the walls of the latrine start to grow and take shape. We created this assembly line for moving the bricks to the work site. It truly was “hands helping hands” but we made so much more than just a building. We forged firm fast Friendships.
Time always went too fast when we were playing with the children. I worked as a pre-school swim instructor for three years, so I can honestly say the children of the village were just like the kids back in Canada. They loved piggy-back rides and were always so quick to give hugs. I think I will forever feel a connection to those bright eyes and mile wide smiles.
This was the most life changing experience of my life. I am so grateful to the Me to We organization for allowing me the privilege to be a part of their dream.
Open yourself to the possibility of real change and gain the knowledge it existed within you all along.
Katie is a member of Youth Advisory Council and guest blogger on Unhooked.