Where your seeds may fall

Ever since I can remember, I have had vivid recurring dreams. The kind that you wake up from and for a few minutes you're not sure if what you dreamt was real. I will have the same few for years and slowly they seem to fall out of rotation and are replaced with others. The most recent one I just can't seem to shake.

In the dream I am at work in Guwahati when some sort of huge disaster happens. The building is shaking and crumbling around me and my co-workers. As I run out of the hospital, I reach the main gates to find every child from Lakhtokia standing there perfectly calm and serene. I run to them, still terrified, and ask what they are doing there. One of the girls looks up at me and says "We're waiting for you to take us to school..." In the dream I turn around to my coworker and tell them an exact day that would be my last working at the surgical center and then I wake up... 

So thus comes the decision, the leap, the push, the revelation that I have some big choices to make. I know I am coming up on my last stretch working at the surgical center and full-time with Operation Smile because I know without a doubt that I need to be dedicating myself to growing Pratyasha. All of these vivd dreams, I believe there is a future in the positive aspects of them. It is so hard to come to a decision to say good bye to a huge facet of my life, the magnetic force that is the cleft center which brought me here. It is my full intention to continue to volunteer with them both in Guwahati/India and internationally as much as possible but it is time. I have been wrestling with the decision for months but finally I swallowed my fears and December 1st will be my last day at the surgical center. 

I get scared, giving up a job and choosing to possibly be without a real income for the foreseeable future. Yes I get scared until moments like this afternoon when I was picking up three of the girls from afternoon school. I stood there waiting for them to finish their school-provided dinner when one of the teachers came up to me. She looked at Kusitan and told me that Kusitan and Kumila had done an excellent job on their reciting today. She told me she couldn't believe how expressive they were and what talent they have. Kusitan was beaming, and I told her I was proud of her as tears welled up in my eyes. I can't be scared because I know what the futures of families in Lakhtokia face is scarier, I know that not developing a way to empower the other kids and their parents is scarier. Any problem I face deciding to do this full time is tiny in comparison and I know that somehow I will manage.

 The handful of girls that started going to afternoon school regularly have done so well that they are going to full time day school as well. They are the stand-outs, the exceptions, they are the dandelion seeds that we blew into the wind, not knowing where they would land. Now, they are turning around and planting seeds in the other kids around them, motivating them to try school. It is still hard and it is going to take a lot of time, power and patience to start growing those seeds. Whole communities are already changing, but we want that change to be permanent and so effective that one day I will actually walk through the slums and not be able to find one single child during the day. I want the children in my dreams to know that I do not want to just take them to school... I want to make them a school. I want to actually help them develop the potential in them in a way that is tailored to their unique needs. It is already happening with Kusitan and Kumila and Pinky and Heena and Hasina and Moromi. I know that more beautiful things will only grow from here.


  1. what a scary but exciting time in your life! it's amazing to know what your calling is. i have a feeling that you will do great in this new chapter of your life. :) best wishes!

  2. Wow! I'm so happy/proud/nervous for you!! You're awesome Kristin.