From August 17th, 2017:
How has it already been six weeks?? It’s crazy how fast these experiences fly by when not watching the clock. It’s hard to believe how much has been jam packed into this month and a half, and yet it also feels as though I haven’t done enough at the same time.
Today is my last day at VG, and to be honest my heart is breaking. The relationships that I have formed are ones that I want to keep with me forever, and it saddens me that I won’t get to see those beautiful faces everyday. The kids that I worked with are some of the funniest, most confident, and just good people that I’ve ever met. They may be young, but they have amazing hearts. After spending three years in the bubble of a college campus, I had forgotten what it’s like to be around kids, and let me tell you, it is a hoot. The 13 older kids I spent everyday with for the past three weeks have so much life and energy, sometimes it was a bit exhausting. But most of the time, it was re-energizing because they would throw themselves into whatever activity we were doing, and would find ways to make it their own.
One of the eleven year olds, Cynthia, would sing and dance her way through art class, and her ability to make everyone (including myself) laugh always kept our spirits high. There’s another eleven year old, Emmanuel, whose sass could not be matched. He reminds me of a younger version of myself, because my own ‘tude got me into trouble as a kid, just as it’s been getting him into trouble from day one all the way to today. I could talk for hours about every single one of the 35+ kids that I met during my time here, even more about the lovely adults I’ve gotten to work with.
This is what saddens me the most about my departure. I have all of these stories and memories, and it feels like they are going to be lost! When I describe my experience to my family and friends, they’re happy for me, but all of the little details that I love so much about every individual gets lost in translation. I’m hopeful that the retreat in the fall will help me keep these specifics at the forefront of my mind, and that talking with my other Fellows will give these memories another voice.
Signing off in Portland for the last time,