Express the Experience

  • 09:32:02 pm on May 20, 2011 | 0
    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    JJ playing hoscotch and baby justice jumping in on the fun!

    Last Monday was my final day interning at City of Refuge before I returned to the States. I tried to keep things upbeat by playing hopscotch with the kids. I taught the older girls how to draw the squares in chalk so they can continue playing it long after I’m gone. Everyone got involved, and before we knew it, even the babies were running around hopping to and fro!

    The girls: Valentine, Evelyn, Grace, me, Portia, Abigail, and Mary (clockwise).

    When I explained to the kids that I would be leaving, they didn’t quite understand. Paul (13), one of the oldest, asked: “Okay… and when will you be back?” The kids are so accustomed to having visitors and staff come and go, they assumed I was going on vacation. They all became very quiet when I explained that I was going home and had no idea if I could come back within the next few years.

    The boys: (Abigail hiding in the back), baby Justice, Paul, me, baby Malvin, Bernard, baby Edwin, Mershak, DK, Micheal, Robert, JJ, and Miracle (clockwise).

    Some of the older kids made me goodbye letters. The younger ones gave me plenty of hugs, and the babies, of course, kisses galore. The most touching goodbye came from Abigail, though. Abigail, rescued from her fishing master in the Volta region last June, is still developing her reading and writing abilities. Since she couldn’t quite spell what she wanted to say in her letter, she employed Elizabeth (another NYU intern) to write her farewell letter to me. Afterward, she ran off to “put it in something” –and returned with a stuffed hand-made envelope. When I opened it on my tro-tro ride home, I found several bracelets in addition to the sweetest letter. Abigail had removed the bracelets from her wrists to give them to me.

    Abigail's hug goodbye.

    Imagine, for a child that has nothing to give me one of the few things she has. I teared when I saw how much Abigail had appreciated my presence at City of Refuge. The past four months with COR  flew by quickly, but not without making lasting bonds. I learned a lot about myself while interning there, including how much I enjoy working with children. I hope I was able to touch the children’s lives as much as they touched mine.

    All of us!

    I’ll miss you Abigail, Mary, Grace, Evelyn, Valentina, Rosemary, Mershak, Miracle, Bernard, Robert, Aaron, Micheal, DK, JJ, Paul, Kaleb, Portia, Edwin, Malvin, Justice, and baby John! ❤


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