Thursday, August 6, 2009

Because I Knew You I Have Been Changed For Good

I apologize for my absence, but I have had very limited time in the land of computers for several days on. I have so many entries to write!

Last Friday, almost a week ago already, was mi ultimo dia (my last day) at the school in Itzapa. The time with my kids flew by so quickly and it’s hard to believe it’s already over.

Although frustrating at times, especially my afternoon class whose favorite word to say was “No”, Clase Fuego was a blast to teach. All my students were such unique characters and had so much personality.

On the last day, I received an absolutely beautiful bouquet of flowers from my student Yaimee, along with a very heartfelt card written by her mother expressing her appreciation. It was so thoughtful. I also got cards made by my kids that were so sweet. Some of them are great artists.

I took over 100 pictures this day. I wanted to be sure to capture every moment I could on my last day. It was very hard to narrow down just a few to share here.

Each Friday, the volunteers who are leaving sit in a chair near the entrance to the school. As the kids leave for the day, every kid gives a big hug and cards to those volunteers. It’s a really nice tradition. Each week I’ve gotten a little choked up seeing the other volunteers say goodbye to the kids, so it wasn’t surprising that I shed a few tears when I had to say my goodbyes.

This day I also said goodbye to the Elena’s family, who have been so nice and welcoming of all the volunteers into their house. We were served more shots of whiskey poured out of a coke bottle at lunch to celebrate the last day of so many volunteers. The volunteers who were leaving were also given a beautiful tablecloth that had been used to hold the tortillas we ate everyday. Here is me with Elena and one of her daughters, Yaimee.

I have had to say goodbye to kids every year as a camp counselor and a teacher. It was different on this day though, because those kids I almost always saw again, and I know, unless I go back to volunteer again, these kids I won’t. Teaching at this school and spending time with these children will definitely be an experience I will never forget and one I will consider one of the most unique of my life. Being around these kids, even just for a short time, has absolutely changed me for the better.



“For Good” –Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith (Wicked Soundtrack)


  1. Julie,
    What a gift you gave yourself!! One you will remember forever!!!

    I can't wait to see you.
    Love you very so much,

  2. Julie,
    I hardly know you but Mom gave me your URL. You have done a wonderful mitzvah for these children and yourself.
    Welcome home!
    Terri Berman