It’s funny how kids can drive you bananas one minute and the next minute, you want to squeeze them and never let go. It’s kinda a lot like the Peace Corps journey – defined by high highs and low lows. You try not to let it happen, but somehow it always does. One day you are on top of the world and ponder staying here forever, and the next day, you’re packing your bags because you just need to see a familiar face and your project has crumbled to the ground. I guess this quote really does stand true –
Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.
Yesterday, I was dragging my feet on the way to the elementary school. I just didn’t want to go. It was one of those days. I wanted to stay in bed, feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on lingering frustrations.
Yet, when I arrived at school, everything changed. The students somehow knew I needed extra loving. They sat on my lap; they played with my hair; they held my hand. The same students who wrote, in blue pen, on my shirt, the same students who don’t listen to a word I say, the same students who cannot stay in their seats to save their lives. They took care of me – they instinctively knew I needed comfort on this particular day. No interrogating questions were asked, no sympathetic looks, merely a hand in hand.
Sometimes I forget the power of touch. And sometimes I forget just how thankful I am for these kidos – even on their grumpy days. Through age differences, language barriers, and cultural differences, we understand each other. A value beyond all others.