Thirteenth Day – Things I’ve Learned So Far
- With a ‘revolving door’ of volunteers, the kids don’t get all that attached
- … Some of the staff do
- One person’s peaceful day is another’s maddening boredom
- Nothing lights up your world like the face of a beaming child
Today has been rather odd – completely unlike any other day here so far. It rained all night, and I could hear it still raining as I woke up this morning. Lying in bed, listening to the rain, I started smiling – both because it was a beautiful moment that I was able to sink into & appreciate… and because tomorrow when I wake up I’ll be heading home.
Breakfast was normal, if a bit chaotic because of everyone being forced inside, and then the kids were off to school. Mary gave me my recipes & I think I actually squee’d with delight. She seemed pleased that I was happy, and proud that I wanted to take their cooking back with me. I have really enjoyed the food here and can’t wait to share it with people back home… after a few weeks of good, down-home, southern cooking, that is!
The morning was a real treat – it kept raining, so there wasn’t anything to do outside, and the staff had a meeting so we couldn’t even work in the kitchen. I gathered up the laptop of one of the volunteers who was on her day off, and settled in up in the apartment & got online. Actually got to chat with a couple dear people – it was fantastic. Sometimes even just the briefest connection can make a world of difference. The rain kept coming down and I just sat and enjoyed it all.
Popped into the kitchen for a quick lunch and slipped away back to the dorm to clean the common areas and start prepping my stuff for tomorrow. I’m trying to figure out what to take & what to leave. Most of the “supplies” I brought I’m going to leave. Somebody here can use it, and I can get any of it at home. That should leave me some room for the few things I’ve picked up while I’ve been here.
I was planning to take a stroll to the store, but it’s no day to be wandering the streets. Maybe I’ll get there tomorrow… would be nice to stop in one last time before I leave.
It’s feeling, today, like the last day of work before vacation – or before you leave a job – where you’re busy, and you get a lot wrapped up, but don’t necessarily feel as though you’ve actually accomplished that much. I’ll help with the homework later on this afternoon, and of course work with the kids tomorrow morning, but right now I’m in an odd quiet place.
It’s been surreal all day… the constant rain (more today than the entirety of the rest of my stay) has kept everyone indoors & left little to do. I helped to do a poster-project of a food pyramid this afternoon, and got complimented on my artistic ability… though I find that highly suspect as I’m not at all gifted with drawing. In any case, it was nice to hear. Through a joint effort of volunteers & kitchen staff, there are cakes for Triston’s birthday tonight… one of them even has bright green icing. It’s going to be adorable.
Other than the Belizian coins I’m taking home, I only have a 25c piece that I saved to give to Triston. We aren’t supposed to make too big a deal for the birthdays (other than cake) because all the kids don’t have volunteers buying them presents on their birthdays, but I think I can slip it to him without being noticed.
I was able to, when he jumped into my arms this evening and told me it was his birthday. The way his face lit up when I produced the coin from my pocket will remain one of my favorite memories of this trip. His eyes got all big & he asked where it came from – I told him it was magic. I got a huge hug, and later on he was doing “magic tricks” for everyone where the coin would “disappear”… Loved it!!
We weren’t really sure if the whole cake thing was actually going to come off – seemed as though it might not for a while – but after the dining hall got cleaned up, most of the kids came back in for singing and cake. Triston was loving the whole thing and everybody was wandering around stuffing cake in their mouths. There was a plain yellow cake, but Vanicia had made a dark fruit-nut type concoction with spices and orange peel in it. It was amazing, and as I was drooling over it, Mary made a point to come over & tell me about what all was in it. I’ve said it before, but I’m really going to miss these ladies!
All fresh & clean (relative terms) after my shower, and had to shoo a gecko out of my room… guess he wanted to say goodbye, too.