The trail of tears: By Kaden Hale

The last few days have been a wreck. It’s been pretty funny actually. There has been more crying than I have ever seen before. It all started with a gratitude circle two nights ago. Everyone went around and said what they were grateful for. It was a really cool feeling. If we weren’t bonded enough then, then we are now. It’s really cool that just saying what you’re grateful for can bring such a feeling of peace. And right as everyone felt like we were in the clear Allison and Brooke whipped out some letters from home. That’s when all heck broke loose. It was super awkward because everyone was crying and I don’t really cry so I was just kind of sitting there smiling. 


The next day was our second to last time seeing our kids and our last time seeing the YMAD girls. The kids were kind of crazy but we were all super happy to be back in the schools. Then after school we went to the YMAD house. It was so fun! We brought it back to 3rd grade and played about 1000 rounds of Heads Up 7 Up. As it turns out I’m not very good at it if I don’t cheat. And I’m kind of a big cheater. I think I learned it from my mom. We then spent the rest of the time doing Henna. I wasn’t going to get any because I was told that the kids in my school would tease me if I did. But after LOTS of convincing and guilt tripping I finally gave in and got some. It looks super cool! Sachin (an Indian guy that hangs out with us) has teased me relentlessly since I got it. As we finished and said our goodbyes there were once again a lot of crying and then me. Just standing watching all the emotion, and feeling super awkward. 


Finally, today. The best/worst day yet. The kids behaved the best they have ever behaved. They were on task and interacting with the lessons. Allison told us this morning to stay present today and make every moment the best. It’s one of the beat ideas I have ever heard. I’m the kind of guy that is always looking forward to the next thing, and I tend to forget to enjoy the small moments. So I have decided to live by that motto. Live in the moment because it won’t last forever. The school was so fun! I lived in the moment and loved every second of it. We gave all the kids a lot of supplies and it felt so good. As we began to start to say our goodbyes. Another wave of tears began from the girls at the school. Both the girls in my group and the little girls at the school. They cried for a solid 20 mins. Ashley finally told us that we had to leave and we got everyone in the car. I turned to go into the car and my two favorite kids turned and gave me the best hugs I have ever received. I will never forget them. I also will probably never see them again, but I will always have their memory to push me to continue to help others. The last thing we did was get back to the hotel where we are staying and my team was still crying. I finally learned my lesson from the last few days and gave them all hugs. I finally feel like we are all truly connected. I miss everyone at home. I love you all. I hope I can carry this amazing experience through the rest of my life. Have my lacrosse stick ready for me when I get home because I’m ready to play. I will see you all in a few days.