Monday, June 30, 2008

Elizabeth Anne Shattuck (Lizzy) trip to India

Here is a report from Lizzy whom the Pleasant Grove Lions Club contributed money to assist her in her wonderful service and teaching in a leprosy colony in India. Following are her own words:

Teaching English to the children at Rising Star was so fun and so rewarding. At first I felt intimidated at the thought of teaching the children, knowing that what I taught them would determine somewhat of their success for their whole lives. The first day of school we sat down with our first child, got to know them and feel comfortable with them. We tested them to check their level of English. I was surprised to see that even though one child would be the same age as another; the level they were at were completely different. The children are so sweet and so eager to learn. They are first generation learners and it is a big deal to them that we were teaching them English. We would sit on little mats in a beautiful mango grove and teach them. I enjoyed my time teaching and saw so much progress in my students. At first I thought that I would not make much progress with them considering the time we had to teach, but I was so pleased to see that they were grasping the lessons and truly progressing.

Visiting and working in the colonies was one of my favorite things. My first day in a leprosy colony was again, intimidating. I didn't know how to communicate with the people. I followed my session director around because she has been around leprosy patients for 4 years. By the end of the day, I was going around visiting alone. I fell in love with the people at the Pandora home for the leprosy affected. They are amazing, and there is a strong spirit there. Our project for our 3 weeks was to build a sunshade. We started with chiseling out cement in the ground a foot and a half deep for the poles. We mixed cement with our hands and poured in the holes and set the poles in. We waited a day and then chiseled holes in building walls for different poles. When applying for Rising Star Outreach, they mentioned that we would be donating our time, sweat, blood and tears. Building the sunshade was the sweaty part. It was a lot of work and so very much worth it. The people that lived under the sunshade were so happy and grateful. One man would boil hot sugar milk for us each day we were there working. We found out that they are so kind and generous even though they have nothing material. I want you to know how very much I appreciate this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit and serve in a place I was needed. Your financial support, prayers, and words of encouragement helped sustain me through this journey of learning, service and self-discovery!