This is the first letter in a series from Jack Grimm describing his work as a volunteer for Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, India. Grimm is a recent graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and a native of Ojai, California.

Hey dear ones,

Today I went to Kalighat, which is the house of the dying and destitute people. It’s an amazing place, but very draining and sad at the same time. The sisters there are wonderful and cheerful. I helped clean the fans, make beds, fold laundry and wash people. It’s kind of frightening being able to easily lift a full grown man because he’s so emaciated, but it’s incredibly rewarding to be able to help them, and many of them are cheerful and friendly despite their hardship.

I had lunch with several of the other volunteers at a delicious place near Sudder street, where many of them stay. Walking back to Kalighat, I found all these sheep being herded through the street, which was not a quiet street at all but rather busy. I rode back to the BMS on the metro, which is amazingly clean–even by American standards–especially when compared to the city streets above, where everyone drops everything in the street.

I’m a little tired, and therefore downcast, at the moment, but all together it was an amazing day. I just need to get into the swing of things here. I’m serving mass tomorrow for the sisters, so pray that goes well. I’m thinking about you all, and I love you.