Mruga, Age 13, Jamison, PA

The winter of 2012, I was so excited knowing that I was going to India. I was most thrilled about missing school and all those test and quizzes. I was just waiting for this moment to come so I could just miss school and learning all those boring things.

As this little, petite and cute girl crawled up towards me and sat right next to me, I looked confused. She just stared at me and waved. I kept saying “Hi” but she wouldn’t answer. After I had asked her a plethora of questions, I remembered her mom telling me that she could not speak a word of English nor did she go to school to learn because they could not afford it.
“Hi, how are you?” I said

But she just looked puzzled again.

I asked her to say “Hi” and she repeated after me saying, “Hi.”

Good job,” I said in such an exhilarating voice

I continued to ask her just a couple of basic words and she got the hang of it soon. When she was saying all those words, that big and striking smile on her face made my realize that some people in this world get the chance to go to school but they take school for granted, but there are some people who want to go to school so badly to learn and make a better future for themselves. But they can’t due to financial reasons. Just like this little girl wanted to learn things just like her friends, but she couldn’t. It was heartbreaking for her to stay at home and not go to school, but some people cherish every moment of staying home from school.

All of a sudden, I got a thought; I should be helpful and help her realize her dreams because there are people who help me succeed in my dream like my family and friends.
Her mom came outside and just had the biggest smile on her face while staring at me and Priyanka. She came over, softly and slowly. Priyanka looked so happy for the first time, as she stared at her mom.

“It's time for dinner, Priyanka” (in Hindi).

“Five more minutes” (in Hindi).

“Oh sure,” she said with a great, enormous smile glowing on her face.

She was so excited to learn more, but I think she had had enough for just one day. As I said my last few words to her before I had to go home, I was very proud of myself because of how much I had changed her life in such a small amount of time. I never knew that I could have such a profound effect on somebody.

This made my think about how I have such a good education back home. Here they want to go to school because they want to be successful in their lives. It made me realize that I should make the most of my education because what I have may seem bad to me whereas others may think it could be the one thing that changes their life.

When I looked at my watch to see what time it was , it was about 6:00 pm, and I started to talk to her at about 10:00 am. Those eight hours, just sitting outside with her and talking to her, brought an exciting smile to my face. Those precious moments with her the last few days were just an opportunity to change somebody’s life. Knowing that I go to school and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to, and then knowing there is somebody across the world who desperately wants to go to school and can't and it’s not up to them whether they can go or not go. This moment just sparked a change in my life and somewhat of a beginning spark in her life.  

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