Day 1 (Saturday): After enduring the 14-hour journey to India, I was exhausted. My plane landed around 3:30 in the morning, but fortunately it was only 6 p.m. in Texas. so I was able to keep my eyes open. My taxi sped along a small bumpy road (with no traffic lights, speed limit, or lanes) for about an hour as I peered at the palm trees through my window. I was surprised to see people awake and starting their day at 4:30 in the morning. I was going to need to get an alarm clock.

Day 2 (Sunday): I slept literally the entire day. I hate jetlag.

Day 3 (Monday): My first day of school! I got to visit all the classes and meet the students. As I entered each classroom, the students immediately clasped their hands together and yelled “namaste” in unison. I felt like a celebrity shaking all of their hands as they practiced the English words they knew, like “hi” and “thank you.” The teacher explained to me that because several of them have speech impairments, they rely on their hands for communication. The classes were divided based on age and skill level. The younger children learned reading and writing, while the older children focused more on life skills like cooking, sewing, and crafting.

Day 4 (Tuesday): My first assignment was to compile the school’s old photos and videos into one concise video illustrating how Swasraya started in 1991 and the progress it has made since then. This video will be used to raise awareness and increase the school’s publicity. This assignment took me the rest of the week.