Saying Goodbye...

Friday, June 10, 2011

| | |
The word goodbye holds so many underlying meanings and emotions. It is not the simple, uncomplicated word that it appears to be at first glance. Goodbyes can be unpleasant, painful affairs. Although, it can offer the hope and excitement of a reunion in the future. Goodbyes contain all of the moments, big and small, that you have shared with that person/place and all of the memories that you will cling to as you move forward in life. Goodbyes are bittersweet, full of the joy and thankfulness these opportunities have given you but also full of the sadness that comes with leaving something wonderful behind.


I am so grateful for my time spent at Tulivu Kindergarten. My kids have shown me a whole different side to myself that I never knew existed. I never thought that I would be able to stand in front of 50 kids and teach a lesson when they speak Swahili and I speak English. And I sure didn't think that I would fall hopelessly in love with them either.

Before coming here teaching was not something I ever desired to do but I am so glad I was forced in to it. That satisfaction you get when you see understanding dawn on your students face, or they get the answer right for the first time, is a high in itself. You want nothing more but for them to succeed. Helping these kids and making them smile everyday has been the greatest gift.


Today I did a little less teaching and added a little more play to the mix :) I figured it was my last day and the kids deserved to have some fun, smile and laugh. In the early morning we played games; duck, duck, goose and What Time is it Mr.Lion (instead of wolf). The kids had a lot of fun with it. All of them wanted to be Simba. Next we brought out some bubbles. I don't think I have ever seen kids go so crazy in my life. They were screaming and jumping all over the place. Watching them try to catch the bubbles was hilarious. There was so much life and energy in them today and I couldn't have been happier.

After they went in to the classroom we played some music for them (speakers and ipod provided by some other volunteers). The kids danced along to Waka Waka and Waving Flag. So much fun!! It is so funny when the kids here sing waka waka, 100 percent adorable. They were shaking their little hips and having a good time. We passed out stickers, just because we could, and because the kids love putting them on their hands and face :)

Once porridge was done and cleaned up I passed out some bracelets that I had made for the kids. Fashioned out of three pipe cleaners, they were bright and easily adjustable :)Just a simple thank you to the school, since our resources are pretty limited.

The official goodbye ceremony was at the end of the day. They set up a table at the front of the class, with flowers (fake), table cloths and doilies :) All the kids wore their "goodbye crowns" and us volunteers were each offered a soda with some milk and honey crackers. Mama Mwanga presented me with a flower (also fake), a card and an official letter of thanks and recognition. It was really sweet. A lot of the kids from my Pre II class were asked to say some words, shook my hand, and said a formal goodbye. I almost couldn't get through that part but I was pleasantly surprised with my ability to hold back the tears.

After class I was lucky enough to get to walk four of my kids home, Esta, Jenifa, Shifra, and Gidion. Seeing where they lived made saying goodbye easier, knowing where they are at and who their parents are. Surprisingly to me, none of them had fathers living at home.

Esta lives with her mother and sister in a one room house with no space to maneuver. Jenifa has lots of room to move around and lives with her mother and grandmother only a few minutes from the school. Shifra and Gidion live quite a distance away. Shifra lives with her sister and where her parents are wasn't really explained. When we walked in there was a very cheesy soap opera playing on the television. Shifra ran to change out of her uniform and we sat and talked to her sister for a few minutes. At Gidion's house I met his mother and sisters. It is a two bedroom home with a little bit of space to work with. We were offered soda's and talked until we were finished. Gidion was adorable and told his mother that she could stay and take care of his sisters cause he was going to go to Canada with teacher. Haha. I would have gladly taken him home :)


I will never forget my kids at Tulivu or Magareza. I hope to hear about them in the future because I will miss them more than anything else. They have affected my life in ways I did not expect. I am so grateful and will take everything that I have learned through my placements home with me. I wouldn't trade my African experience for anything :)


Post a Comment