Thursday, April 12, 2012
I'll be honest, I've NEVER blogged before. It seems to be a bit of a public journal entry. But here it goes!
This blog will be dedicated entirely to capture my experiences as a volunteer in India. But before I do that, I feel I should give some background.
My friend, Dani, who I've known since middle school, kept reminding me about the company she works for, Rising Star Outreach. Rising Star is a service-oriented volunteer program that helps those afflicted with leprosy in India (check risingstaroutreach.org). Dani is the volunteer director. I had never given it much thought, although I thought it would be a really neat experience. It wasn't until I was visiting teaching a girl in my ward, Kim, that I started to feel the desire to go. Kim, who I've also known since middle school, has been to India with Rising Star multiple times. As I was visiting her, she kept telling me, "Kelsey, you need to go to India." She shared some of her experiences with me and I was sold. I want...I need to have some of these life changing experiences. I need to help others. I need to do this. Then the task of making it happen began...
Originally, my visiting teaching partner was also sold on the idea. But after a few weeks, she realized that she could not make this trip work for her financially. She was crushed...and I was a bit unsure that I would be able to make it happen. You see, my parents are supportive of my desires to travel. However, they do have one condition. They are adamant that I do NOT travel alone (which I understand). So, my original travel buddy was not going to be able to go. Which meant, I might not be able to go. I talked to several more people about becoming my travel buddy. All of them had great desire and intentions to go, but in reality, none of them could do it.
Several weeks went by and I had almost resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to make it to India. In desperation, I emailed Dani and asked her if ANYONE was going on my session that was leaving from Salt Lake City. She got right back to me and said that I was in luck. Amy, who was also a friend of Dani's, was going on my session and she was leaving from Salt Lake. What a Miracle!
I immediately got in touch with Amy. A couple of weeks later, we met for the first time and, on a Saturday afternoon, booked our flights together.
India just became a reality.