An interesting report from Natasha Kubik
about her mission to India in January.
January 29, 2011
Dear Uncle Victor, Aunt Bev and the members
Thank you so much for the generous donation
that you made for my trip to India.
Recently, I arrived home from Kolkata, India
where my team, Colin Larnerd, Jorden Eck,
Mar Peter-Raoul and I had the privilege to
spend time with 43 children and families
that live half in the Shree Durga Dump and
half in a small village outside of the city.
The families rotate every 6 months.
trip was truly an eye-opening experience and
certainly life-changing. India is very
overpopulated, very dirty, and pretty much
completely insane. Walking out on the
streets everyday was very mentally draining.
There were hundreds and hundreds of people
begging for money and sleeping on the
streets at night. There were a lot of
homeless dogs just roaming the streets,
scrounging around for food. Their diet
consisted of rats, crows and garbage. It was
Our plane was delayed by the snow in the
U.S. so we almost missed our chance to speak
at the International Philosophers for Peace
Conference. Luckily, we were able to make it
for the last day and they were able to
squeeze us in. We felt very rushed and a
little on edge, but we able to present and
it was a very good opportunity.
On January 1 we were able to meet and spend
time with the families at the dump. When we
arrived, they had cleaned out a huge area
for us and they had a small bicycle-wagon
for us to sit on. They loved getting their
pictures taken with our cameras. We were
greeted as old friends with open arms.
At the Dump
One day we took them to the Maiden, which is
the biggest park in Kolkata. We ate a
wonderful lunch with them and got a chance
to really get to know them. Our Bengali was
limited, but we tried to speak as much
Bengali as we could
My favorite day was the day we were
privileged to visit the peoples' village. It
was so unreal. I felt like I was in a book.
We took an hour and a half train ride,
standing room only, because it was so
crowded. Although it was miserable being way
too close to way too many sweaty people, I
really enjoyed looking at the landscape of
India out the window. When we finally
arrived at our stop, we took a bicycle-wagon
ride to the village. A poor teenage boy had
to pull us with his bicycle on the wagon
with 5 big bags! When we got to the village,
the children put on a traditional welcome
ceremony for us. We drew pictures, taught
them how to braid necklaces and passed out a
LOT of school supplies, toys, candy, etc. It
was so great spending time with these
precious little children. Our lunch at the
village was my favorite thing we got to eat
the whole trip. We had boiled water,
carrots, apples, oranges, beets, and
potatoes all grown in their gardens (so
delicious!!) For dessert we had Indian
coffee and butter cookies. After lunch, we
had a big dance party! All the children were
great little dancers and loved to show off
their moves. Then they took us on a tour of
their little village. They lived in mud huts
with thatched roofs and baby chicks running
all around. There was a small pond with a
man making clay bricks. I sat and listened
to the girls sing while Colin and Jorden ran
around with the kids. Even though life must
be very difficult, it was so nice and
relaxing to get away from the busyness of
the city's daily life. It was so wonderful
to spend the day with such special little
Me, Colin and Jorden at the Maiden
with the kids and their families.
Christopher is the one in blue.
Our last day with the people, we brought
them to the Kolkata Zoo. It was so exciting
for them because they had never been allowed
in before. It was dumb, because they were
allowed in this time, because they were with
us-"wealthy white Americans." At the Zoo, we
taught them the animals in English and they
taught us the animals in Bengali. My
favorite was the baloo (bear.) After the
zoo, we went to the maiden and taught them
more English words. They picked it up really
quickly and by the end, they knew more
English words then I knew Bengali words and
I had been studying Bengali for a month
before the trip.
It was amazing to spend time with such
beautiful people. The energy and pure joy
they have even though they have nothing was
truly something I will never forget. They
taught me way more then I could have ever
dreamed to teach them.
We had some good experiences and some not so
good experiences, but I knew that it-was all
part of the whole life experience. So I just
went with it. It was awesome to be able to
be apart of something bigger' then myself. I
could not have made it out alive if on my
own. God truly strengthened me through it
all and to Him I give all the glory.
I hope you'll be pleased to hear that your
donation went to a few small experiences,
but most went towards the children's
education. Forty-six Rupees in India is
equal to one dollar in the U.S., so you
truly made a difference.
I just got you a little something to say
thanks and to let you know that I was
thinking' of ya!!
I hope that all is well with you and yours.
Peace, Love, and God Bless,