Today was a bittersweet day. We are glad to ho back to the school and hang out with the teens. We have come so close to them in such a short amount of time, but we are sad knowing this is the last day we will spend with them. It may be the very last time we see our smart and beautiful friends.
We had one last lesson in the morning. I taught them about the insides of a computer and the tools the computer can provide, especially the helpfulness of tablets and mobile devices. Most of the teens have Facebook, so I covered some internet safety and ethics. We then gave the school 5 tablets of different sizes which had some learning apps pre-loaded. They were so appreciative of the gift.
After lunch was had an award ceremony where we presented the learners with graduation certificates. They gifted us with mugs and plaques with their school crest: a great gift to remind us of our experience here.
The next part was the hardest. The good byes. We took many pictures and exchanged hundreds of hugs and farewells. As we took off in the van, the students stood in front as a barricade not wanting us to leave.
Our whole group was almost in tears. It was incredible how we developed such deep bonds in only a few days. It was extremely hard to see these students so intelligent and curious who had so much to offer our world who have so little when we have so much.
We complain when we are a little cold or tired or hungry. These students just want to learn, and they are doing it with uncomfortable conditions, with hammy-down books, and broken desks.
This experience has really reminded me not to take my blessings for granted, especially my education. With knowledge, many doors are opened to provide for yourself and others to have better life. It is so disheartening to see so many here that do not have the opportunity to educate themselves in order to escape the cycle of poverty.
These students live a much different life than I. Their homes much smaller and less comfortable, their clothing and food less favorable or less available than I, their risk for gang violence, sexual assault, and disease are much higher than mine. In reality, we are very much a like, just like me, these girls want to dance, laugh, to be loved, and not to stress. I am so lucky to have had this opportunity to meet these students, to share in their smiles and to share my passion and talents with them. They have shared so much with me, and this is an experience I will never forget.