September 08, 2014

The perfect remedy for too much work is a little light-hearted fun. Moving the office over the past two months has been exhausting! Despite setbacks and construction taking longer than anticipated, everyone persevered. Considering the girls had been inundated with the move, we felt it was time for a little group bonding. We scheduled a day trip to Essel World, India’s largest amusement park.

Not long after we arrived, we found ourselves laughing, screaming from delight, and having a good time. Most of the girls haven’t ever been to an amusement park before or even had the chance to enjoy their childhood. The reality of their past is void of fun. Experiences of joy and laughter from childlike trips to an amusement park are rare, if not absent from their lives. Though these girls are young women, 16-18 years old, they had a great time giggling, laughing and screaming while they enjoyed the thrills of the ride.

Shalu*, one of the newest girl’s to join iSanctuary, was the most courageous and fearless of all. A few were too afraid to go on a ride that spun you around and upside down until it sprayed water in your face. Some girls rode it, while others stayed behind to watch, but no one wanted to ride it again, except for Shalu*.  It was a fun ride, but the heat was exhausting and my lack of youth led me to question if I could handle that ride again. After getting refreshed with a soft drink and resting for a bit I agreed to go on it one more time with her. Although that was the last ride for me for the day, I’m glad I was able to share that experience with her. This experience reminded me that it’s important to act like a kid again, to forget about the worries of the world, to let loose and be fearless. I realized that this is the gift we were able to give the girls that day.

As the end of the day drew near, the girls did not want to leave. We had to set a “two more rides” limit. On the ferry ride back everyone was tired, while some even fell asleep. Though we set out to give everyone a little break, we accomplished more than we intended. Giving joy, laughter, and a childlike spirit to the girls we serve…mission accomplished.

Alexandra Badie