This time last year we had just had our first cooking session. I remember anxiously planning, and making an epic Ikea trip picking up supplies, and my own family helping me wash and pack cooking kits. With Ms. Edwards’ help we were able to organize the room and students. At that time I barely knew everyone though everyone was starting to show their personalities. We were just starting out. I remember getting such a high after our first cooking session proved to be a success. Now a year later, I still get that high each time I see the students, but it’s a new type of high. Instead of first-day nervous jitters, it’s the thrill of coming back home to family and friends after being gone for a while. In just one year we have learned to work together in the kitchen and formed a Nashta Exchange team that plays on and off the court. More importantly we have perfected making Pav Bhaji and have been able to blog, connect, and help our friends abroad. We have been able to practice our computer skills, as well as our English reading, writing and comprehension.
Now a year later we are closer and our Nashta Exchange family keeps growing. Ms. Edwards’ welcomed her baby girl Ethyn and there are new smiling faces in both the American and Indian classrooms. In January, I was able to visit our friends at the Akanksha Foundation. Some were taller and all were definitely wiser. Earlier this month, I also visited the Philadelphia classroom and the same could be said about them.
It was obvious after each visit that both groups of kids were a family and we hope to bring the two families closer together.