Mar 26, 2014

Tuesday

It is Tuesday - about 6:07pm. I just finished my dinner with Ceci and Stefan. Tonight I had ramen noodles, I am being cautious as tomorrow is my travel date back to Atlanta. My fever did not come back - I was doing OK most of the day, I did come to my room from 12:30 to 2pm and sat very still under the fan.

We had three students sick today. Ben from Class 5 did not come to school and Emmanuela from KG1 and Angela from Primary 1 both left school with fevers and vomiting. Hopefully tomorrow everyone will be feeling better.

All of the compound families are out cooking their dinners, the children are playing, Terrence is crying. It does not get dark until about 6:30pm so we have still have about 20 minutes of light. There is a tiny cool breeze, it is wonderful. Did I say Terrence is crying, amazing how such a little body can produce such a loud sound. And his cry is a cry and words all at the same time, for some reason he catches my attention every time.

I've been away from home since March 10th - I've not seen any TV since then, the only news I get is me going to CNN.com from time to time when I am in the school office posting my updates. I heard it is still cold in Atlanta, YIKES. Not sure if March Madness is over or in the final brackets.

I asked Cindy to have a few things for me at home, Frosted Mini Wheats, Bananas and English Muffins. I don't dare eat on any Delta flight.

It is hard to leave; hard to leave the children, the energy, the great work being done everyday by all the teachers and Kwame. I continue to be amazed that learning is indeed happening, despite all the obstacles, barriers, challenges, issues, constraints, etc. learning is taking place.

Today when I was in my room at mid day, Class 5 takes place right outside my door. I could hear them all take turns during their reading comprehension, I could hear them correct each other when one them needed help, it was wonderful. Today I sat in on KG1 and KG2 and we did the months of the year, they all participated, they all raised their hands, they all listened, their eyes wide open, focused on the white board when I was writing the months all down. It is hard to leave the children.

And yes it is easy to travel back home. Yes knowing I am going home to a Tempurpedic bed, to a shower without a bucket, to a house without dust and dust and more dust. I am going home to running water, to electricity. I can be at Kroeger or the Buford Farmers Market within 5 minutes and have access to more food selections than I can imagine.

We all have our way of living, what we are accustomed to, what we are comfortable and familiar with. My life in Atlanta is radically different than the way of life in Kissemah; at the same time, this experience has been life changing for me since my first visit in 2011. The perspective and appreciation I've gained by being a guest in the home of Ceci and by being a neighbor to all the families in the compound is forever with me, forever in my heart.

Experiencing the life in Kissemah has challenged my heart and mind to be a bit more still, a bit more quiet; the stillness and silence giving me time to think, appreciate, consider, reflect, wonder, imagine, and to forever be grateful for all that I've been blessed with, especially my wonderful parents, Rogelio and JoAnn Arosemena.

I've also come to appreciate the human spirit and the true remarkable character and strength embodied even in the tiny hearts and minds of children, even the youngest children in KG1, KG2 and Primary 1.