FINDING THE GOOD IN GOODBYE
The day we have all been dreading ever since meeting our children is here. Goodbye Day. At the beginning I didn't really think I would connect with the children knowing the fact that we only have a week but, all it takes is a simple smile or a small giggle and I was hooked!
The car ride up was pretty quiet, I could tell no one was mentally prepared for the time we would say our last goodbye. However, once we got out of the car we could already hear them singing Down by The Banks (the game we taught them). Once we heard that, we knew we had to slap a smile on our face and give these children an AMAZING day.
We started the day off with a couple of quick lessons but we stopped after an hour because the whole team was anxious to play games and hand out gifts. We had penny necklaces, group pictures, candy, school supplies and portfolios to give each child. The greatest feeling was seeing how their eyes lit up every time we brought out a new gift. Also, I will never forget the sincere gratitude the teachers showed us when we presented them with the gifts for the school. The gift that I was especially excited to give to the students was the train set. The moment we dumped out the pieces from the bag, the children flooded in. I felt like the new Santa Clause.
The moment that NO ONE was waiting for was finally here. We had to tell the children that we weren't going to be coming back tomorrow. We prepared nine months to serve these children however, no one was prepared for how hard it was going to be to say goodbye. Tears filled the eyes of the teachers and my teammates. Giving each child a hug and never wanting to let go. Those children may never know how much of a difference they made in our lives but, I know for a fact that I will never have the same outlook on life after my experience this past week.
The one lesson that I will take from these children is happiness doesn't come from objects, it comes from being surrounded with people you love. Ever since I left the Salt Lake airport, I haven't been on Social Media or playing the newest game on my phone and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything! I have come to learn more about people and their culture and also I've learned a lot about MYSELF!
Life's what you make it so, don't take any moment for granted.