Day 10: Goodbyes & Hellos

Day 10: Goodbyes & Hellos

Hola loyal blog readers! As you may know, yesterday was our last day of classes at the school, but today is technically the last day for everyone to spend at their organizations. This morning Cynthia and Darielle had to return to Hogar de Cristo for another session with the sexual health program. I’ve mentioned that some of the students from that program have been in our classes recently, and we have really got to know them well, so all of us working at the school the past couple of days decided to tag along (as oppose to go to a different agency) so we could say our goodbyes and have one last chance to just play and hang out with them! When we first got there we had to wait a bit for Cynthia and Darielle to finish their bit with the kids before they were free to play; business before pleasure.

I use the word play, because that is exactly what it is. We didn’t have much equipment with us as we had left most of it with the PE teacher last day, but we did have a few skipping ropes. Jaime and I tied two of the ropes together to make one large rope so that everyone could play along. We started out with an organized game, which quickly erupted into spontaneous play. The skipping rope transformed into a limbo stick, into a high jump rope, and even into a trick jump rope – that is people doing tricks over and/or under the rope. It was really cool to just see how literally, what is essentially a piece of rope, can be transformed into a tool for so many games. I know I’ve already mentioned it a million times, give or take a few, in my past entries about the power of play, but really, it still stands out so much to me. Here we are in a foreign country, trying to engage with people in a foreign language, with all the cultural differences between us, and yet when it comes to just playing with these kids it happens so easily and so naturally. I feel like we’ve really used this as a tool this past week to get to know these kids on a more personal level.

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Eventually the jump rope was forgotten, music was brought out and before you knew it we had a dance party going on. We tried our hand at salsa’ing – some who could do it much better than others, we had a dance circle, and I think at one point we were doing a salsa styled line dance. That or we were playing a large game of follow the leader dance edition. It was really hard to say goodbye to these kids. Seeing some of them every day for the last little bit has become a familiarity, and with the likelihood that we will never see each other again, it was like saying goodbye to a moving family member. We took our pictures, we gave our hugs, some shed tears, and that was it. At least with technology these days we can still keep in touch (hopefully) via good ol’ Facebook. Not only were we saying goodbye to these wonderful kids we’ve had the privilege to work with, we were also saying goodbye to the organization and the place we’ve worked at this week in the hopes of maybe making a difference in at least one person’s life. Man, goodbyes are tough.

But with every goodbye comes a new hello. Or at least that’s what I’m going with today! After we got back from the school it was time to pack our beach bags and say goodbye to the loud city and hello to the quiet beach, with nothing to hear except the sound of the rolling waves. I adore the ocean. Love it, love the beach, love the sand, love the stinging salt water. Love it all. So as you can probably guess I was very excited to head out there! After at 2 hour bus ride we arrived at our new home for the next 4 days, the Sea Garden Hostel! This place, is super cool! First of all, it’s pretty much one giant tree house, second of all there are a ton of hammocks around, thirdly we can see and hear the ocean from our second story balcony, and finally all our meals are included! This means fresh home cooked style food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!!! Free lunch! It’s the best. As soon as we arrived we rushed to the beach for a walk along the water. It’s great to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’ll be nice to have a couple of relaxing days after all the hard work we’ve down this trip! But our lovely first dinner is almost ready (we’re having pasta woo!) so I better go join in all the festivities! Ciao!!!

Thanks for reading!!!

Xx Erica

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