This week has been a crazy conglomeration of all sorts of random things. Mostly, we’ve been preparing for the summer camp, and I’ve spent several afternoons picking up my friends from the airport (yes!). But here are just two little tidbits from the week.
My nine, sweet, Tibetan little sisters left on Saturday. The night before, I was hanging out with them in the classroom while the decorated a whole chalkboard with a message for all the volunteers. It reads, “We went home. We have too many things tell you. We want to say thanks for always playing with us. These days we are very happy with all the volunteers. We won’t forget you. We miss you.” The wrote the names of all the volunteers who had spent time with them this year. I laughed when I saw that mine was the only one they wrote in Chinese. It made me realize that they’ve only ever called me by my Chinese name too… maybe they’ve never heard my English name!
I’ll miss these girls a lot. I would list all their names, but I don’t know how to use the Tibetan keyboard on my computer. I miss playing hide-and-seek. I miss all the questions about America and why my hair isn’t blonde and whether my feather grows out of my head. I miss having them ask me for the hundredth time how to play Fur Elise on the piano. I miss them coming and sitting with me during weekend meals, as close as they can sit. I miss dancing, whether learning their dances or teaching them one of mine. I miss washing clothes with them in the washroom, seeing who can finish first but not really wanting to leave early. I miss their constant encouragement, and how they made me feel like their favorite person in the world. Which was fine, because the feeling was quite reciprocated. I miss their beautiful faces, and who wouldn’t? Even “Quinn,” the grumpy faced one who is actually never grumpy faced when the camera is put away. I truly dream of going to visit them in their hometown someday, and since I have their contacts on WeChat now, that dream isn’t too far away from reality!
The ninth graders, who I worked with as eighth graders last year, all graduated today! I gave a little speech, and here’s the English translation:
Dear friends and students,
Today, you graduate from Dandelion School! You have lived here three years, and I’ve lived here with you for a year and a half. In those three semesters, I’ve seen your hard work. I’ve also seen how your teachers teach you very important things. They teach you useful knowledge, but they all believe that it’s most important to help you become useful, loving people. They believe you can change the world, and I believe you can too. When you leave Dandelion, don’t forget what you learned here about confidence, love, and gratefulness. I am honored to have known you, and Dandelion is proud of you! Thank you!
Those are two tidbits from the week. Our summer camp starts on Wednesday, runs for ten days, and five days after it ends I’ll be flying back to the U.S! I can’t believe how fast the time is counting down, and I’m treasuring the moments!