Thursday, March 7, 2013
My, oh, my. What a journey it has been. Here we are, at the end of our service here in Guyana. After four days of sensory and experience overload, I must say that I wish I had forty more. Today, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach first grade at Bosco Academy (the school at the orphanage). Kara and I were basically thrown into a class with no real explanation. We did numbers, reading, and writing. We also did a lot of laughing. It is impossible not to, considering the silliness of seven first graders. For the first time in my life, I really felt like an adult. I was responsible to make sure these young boys learned something. At the very least, I hope I brought a bit of joy into their lives.
That is where this amazing adventure becomes bittersweet. We have spent afternoons playing with the boys at the orphanage. However, this was the first time that I spent the entire day there. From the very get go, the boys were grabbing my hand and leading me around. The whole day I tried to give them all as much love and attention as I could. I just felt like those boys needed a hand to hold and someone to hug. I picked up as held as many as I could and a few sat with me in the afternoon while I read them stories. By the end of the day, I just wanted to scoop them up and bring ten home. I am amazed at how fast I grew attached to those little guys. I didn't know everyone's name, but they all smiled when I looked them in the eye and called them "little man". The most heart breaking part of this experience was having to say goodbye to them. All I heard was "Miss, come back tomorrow!" It was so hard to tell them I was not coming back again. Their innocence and youth showed. One boy in particular, Alex, made a permanent impression on me. After Kara walked to the van, I saw his eyes overflowing with tears. He just starred at the van sitting just beyond the gate. It was seeing him and all the other boys at the fence that almost caused me to lose it.
As heartbroken and sad as I am, I have to believe that this trip positively impacted not only myself, but the people I came in contact with. I hope those boys and girls that I taught this week have a positive memory of me and that they knew, that for at least a few hours, that someone truly loved and cared about them. When all is said and done, however, this trip was not about the service we did. It is about the things we experienced and felt. It's about the way we were affected and how our lives were changed.
I can say, with absolute certainty, that I am not the same person that left Cresson less than a week ago. I will carry this experience with me forever in my heart. It is my greatest wish that I can return someday. Please say a prayer for all the boys at the orphanage. They need some more love than I can send them.
Tomorrow is a day to explore the natural beauty of our host country. We will explore the rain forest and hopefully find a way to lighten our hearts and soothe our souls. Then, it is back to the real world and everything that we left behind. I want to that thank each and every person on this adventure with me. It is a once and a lifetime opportunity that I am glad each of you has been a part of.
That is all for tonight. Love and miss you all.