December 26

Dear Diary,
I have made friends with a girl named Numali, at the education center. She is 14 and comes there sometimes to help out. She told me that she never dreamed she would ever get to go to school. But with some help from the education center, she is now in Class Eight and doing well at her studies. She can speak English and wants to become a nurse when she graduates from college. College! I cannot even think so far ahead right now. I asked if she would be a nurse in a big city, like Guwahati—but she said no, she wants to help her own community.

Numali helps me with my reading and writing in-between classes on weekends. She brought some sweet ghila pitha (deep fried rice cakes) for lunch and shared them with me. They were delicious. I love my sister, Sutara, but it is nice to have a new friend, Diary. We can talk about other things, and even our families, without anyone getting upset.

Some days, the world seems so far away, Diary. Other days, it feels as if it's inside my heart, getting bigger and bigger in my chest until I will float away from joy.

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