|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on January 2, 2016 at 10:10 AM|
Sheradia Linton, left, her mom, Rayminda, center and sister, Zephanhia, display hena artwork that students from the Save Our Sisters class asked to do for them
(Photo: Linton Family)
AVRE, Montana -- A Havre teen who went to work at an orphanage for special-needs children in India as part of her Make-A-Wish request is back home and feeling the glow of her trip.
Sheradia Linton, 15, visited the Save the Children India School in Mumbai along with her 13-year-old sister, Zephanhia, and parents, Scott and Rayminda. They left Nov. 28 and returned Dec. 8, surviving a 20-hour plane ride each way.
“It was really fun. It was awesome,” she said of her trip, adding the family was able to interact with children at the school. “It was really cool seeing how the school did and what it did for the kids and how the teachers worked with them.”
She said it was also nice getting to know some of the teachers and the students.
The school visits were in the morning. Afternoons were spent sightseeing.
The family didn’t only visit, they brought school supplies, including modeling clay, and gave the school nearly $3,000 that they had raised.
“They were very appreciative of that,” Sheradia said.
Rayminda Linton describes the trip as “life-changing.”
As part of the visit, the family got to meet with Save Our Sisters girls, who had been rescued from sex trafficking.
She noted in an email that the girls were ages 14-18 and many had children. They were learning how to raise those kids and survive on their own.
“That impacted me the most,” Rayminda said.
The trip was arranged through Make-A-Wish Montana, which fulfills wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions, while including the family in their request.
Sheradia has Burkitt lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in which cancer starts in immune cells.
It’s the fastest-growing human tumor that doubles in size within 24 hours, Rayminda said. However, Sheradia has been told she can have a normal life.
Sheradia said the family spent much of their time in India in the school’s art room.
Students would come in and the Lintons would do an art project with them.
A highlight of the week was a sports day for all the special-needs students, which was like a smaller Special Olympics, with running, throwing, track and field, Sheradia said.
She described Indian food a “pretty different,” with some of it spicy.
On trips around the area she said she often saw goats and cattle on the side of the road.
Another highlight of the trip remains seeing “the kids’ faces and hanging out with them,” Sheradia said.
Among the items the family brought back to Havre are things made at the school such as bookmarks, washcloths and jewelry.
Since her return home, Sheradia said people have asked her about her trip and what the family did over there.
She said she tells them about the school, what she did over there and about the sports day.
“It was a lot of fun and a really cool experience,” she said. “I really liked it.”
The Havre High School sophomore said she plans to keep in touch. And she’d like to return some day.
“I always wanted to go, and it was an amazing experience, and I really enjoyed it,” she said.
Sheradia Linton works with a student from an orphanage in India on an art project. (Photo: Linton Family)
Rayminda said it has been in her daughter’s heart for a while to go to India.
“I thought she didn’t know what she is getting into,” she said. “But no, in fact it made it stronger.”
Rayminda said she found the trip to be physically and mentally draining.
She said to some people in the Indian culture thinks, the deaf and mute children are diseased.
“Just thinking about that is emotionally draining because you feel for these kids,” she said.
Rayminda said both of her daughters have returned to Havre more mature, having experienced a different culture.
“They both want to go back,” she said.
Douglas Koester, chief executive officer for Make-A-Wish Montana, said he is looking forward to hearing about Sheradia’s trip.
“Her’s was really unique,” he said. “She’s been through a lot in her life and her need to give back is so impressive.”
Koester said plans for wishes by other children are moving forward.
“It’s all the donors in Montana who made what Sheradia did possible,” he said. “The gifts to Make A Wish is what makes this happen.”
By : Phil Drake (Great Falls Tribune)
NOTE : Photos by Linton Family