Sunday, July 17, 2011

dedicated, to you

It’s currently about 7:40PM on July 17, 2011. I’ve got approximately 24 hours left in Kerala. And after a day that reminds me why I love Thomas John Achen, Betty Kochamma, Binu, Jim and Maggie so much, and has already left me sorely homesick for Buchanan, I would like to offer up some gratitude. A dedication.

It’s a bit odd, I know, to end something with a dedication. They always come first in books…but this isn’t a book. It’s merely my blog; the accumulation of ‘five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear.' And when I say ‘my blog,’ I don’t just mean this one post. I mean the 84 posts before it, too--from the first one, onwards. My blog in its entirety. Because ironically, during my year of mission service, it was not I who served; it was I who was served. It was not I who taught; it was I who was taught. And while I will never be able to repay all of the grace and kindness that has been shown to me this year, I will give what I can. Cognizant of the meagerness of my offering, I will dedicate its written record to those who helped make this experience what it was.

'Madi Chechi' at her finest
  • I dedicate this blog to all students and teachers at Buchanan, particularly the 5th grade classes, for making me smile even when I didn’t feel like it. To last year’s class of 8E, for its unfailing exuberance, especially Sneha.
  • I dedicate this blog to the TTC and Buchanan boarding students, for loving me so well. For allowing me to be a chechi for a year. You made my days come alive.
  • I dedicate this blog to my Malayalam tutor, Sanila Teacher, who taught me far more important lessons than Malayalam. Your enormous faith has simultaneously made me realize the weakness of my own and inspired me to deepen it.
  • I dedicate this blog to everyone at Mandiram, especially Thomas Samuel Achen, my other Malayalam tutor (who, likewise, taught me greater things than Malayalam). Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me to always give my best.
  • I dedicate this blog to Thomas John Achen, Betty Kochamma, and Binu, for loving and taking care of me, the ‘least of these’ (Matthew 25:40). For making this program possible in the first place; for making us part of your family. Achen, you’re going to officiate at my wedding. I just have to find the groom.
  • I dedicate this blog to Jim and Maggie, my full time ‘bystanders,’ for the times we’ve laughed until we’ve cried, and cried until we’ve laughed. You guys…WE MADE IT!! And whether waiting for our 2AM snack in the Mumbai airport, debating the finer points of Indian culture (such as the activities before/after which one would be expected to pray or have tea), or troubleshooting our bowel have not only kept me sane—you have made this year wonderful.
  • Most of all, I dedicate this blog to my querida Jaimol Kochamma, who I have loved from the beginning. You have been far more of a friend and mother to me than my supervisor—I will be missing you always.

Finally, I dedicate this blog to you, for being right there with me the whole way.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.” -Unknown


  1. How beautiful, Madison. Just as thankful as you are for the people who entered into your life this past wonderful year in India (and abroad as blog followers and anyone else!), they are just as thankful that you have entered theirs. We all enter into each other's lives for a reason. I love you, Madison.

  2. In reading this entry, during your last hours in India, I feel I've gotten a glimpse into your life in India and how you were impacted and how you impacted others. I can't wait to read more, a sort of retroactive journey through your experience in India:) I also love how we chose the same blog layout!:) Did you make the scrapebook for the beautiful cards from your students?