Here we are at Bombay House on the night we told the kids we were going!
We will be traveling to India in early June to volunteer at Rising Star Outreach…for about a year!
We are so excited to have this opportunity!
Rising Star is a wonderful organization that runs a school for children out of the leprosy colonies in Southern India. The school is located about 50 miles southwest of Chennai, India.
They also run a mobile medical clinic that serves 14 nearby leprosy colonies. They also do many community projects and micro-loans to help those living in the colonies. It is an amazing organization and we are so excited to be a part of it!
There is a short video that is a wonderful introduction to Rising Star…here.
You might be thinking….How in the world did this come about??
Well, the funny thing is that it has always been Lon's dream to take our family abroad
(particularly to a third-world country) and it has most-decidedly NOT been my dream,
especially when the kids were little.
And in the way of cosmic irony…this little adventure is all my doing.
Many years ago (like about 8-10), I was deeply moved by a presentation at BYU Education Week by Becky Douglas about her work in India with the leprosy affected. I went to her presentations a few times over the years and felt very drawn to the work that she was doing through her organization, but with so many young children, I felt unable to really contribute or become involved.
Fast forward to the Summer of 2012. While on a choir tour to the Southern States, I stayed at the house of a woman who mentioned her daughter was in India for the summer and I immediately knew it had to be with Rising Star (I knew the founder was from Georgia). I asked her all sorts of questions and felt like it was no coincidence that she ended up hosting me and my group of girls. I resolved that summer that when I was able, I was going to get involved in whatever way I could. Little did I know!
This last fall, when my youngest went to first grade, I started volunteering at the Rising Star office…which happens to be in Provo, UT. On my third or fourth time in the office, I mentioned how much my husband would love to go over to India and then the idea just kind of took off from there. By the end of the year, we met with the Executive Director to discuss the possibility and then had a couple video chats with other leaders in the organization over in India. It was a long 6 weeks waiting to find out, but on Tuesday, February 11th, we got a call telling us that we were going.
"How do our children feel about this all?" you might ask.
Well, we have varying levels of excitement, with the 16-year-old being the most excited and the 14-year-old being the least, and the 2 youngest quite concerned about the food, but they are all willing to go. And what an adventure it will be!
(Our college daughter is taking a year off and coming with us. We can't imagine going without her!)
So we started our India Adventure TODAY! ….the girls and I went and got Henna. It was so fun picking out our designs and I am so grateful to my friend Anna Lisa for doing it for us!
They turned out AWESOME!!
Now we just need a sari and we are ready to go! (oh…and two little things called a passport & visa!)
My arm is (of course) the one with the wedding ring, and
then clockwise from me is Avery, Brooklyn, Camry, and Liberty.
And here is how it looked the next morning when we took off the actual Henna…