Wow, it was hard to even write that title - I am numb right now. I have choked back so many tears in the last few days that I can't even cry now. The children all made cards for me and came up to me on Friday telling me good-bye and asking me why i had to leave. One of my little boys that I have worked with asked me - "but, Miss Kim, why do you have to leave us?" I told him that I needed to work to make money so I could come back. He said, "but this is your work" and I said I do not make money when I am here and I have to have ajob where I make money. He said, "tell them to pay you here." boom done, simple as that. One of my boys - the one I want to take home and said it would be ok with his mom...he was acting terrible all week. So disruptive that they asked his mom to come to school to help keep him under control. I asked her and her son to come and talk to me on Friday. She told me that she knew he was acting up because I was leaving and that she ven told him that if he was good that she would take him to the states to se ehis older brother that he missed. He was standing by us as we talked. I asked her where his brother lived and she said - Mississippi! I was shocked and told them that is where I live. I could see him if they came. He brightened up and smiled...then his mom asked me if it was ok for them to call me in the states. I said of course - she told him that he could call me every week if he was good in class and did his work. This is the same mom that was not very happy with me in January when I began talking to her about not lashing and beating the child so much - we have worked on finding other ways....She told me that she was thankful and that she thinks he loves me like a mom and I told her that she is his mom and he loves her - I am just his friend. She just hugged me. Child after child after child after child - I think I got over 500 hugs friday. I read "oh the places you will go" to the young people about to graduate. One of the children's cards said - I love you Miss Kim and therapy was really fun." My toughest kids that were angry with me at times were the ones that wouldn't even go home at the end of the day.
The one I couldn't quit crying over though....was my little 3 year old from the community - remember the house blessing? His mom brought him to school in the morning and said his 5 year old brother had told him that I was going away to the states and he had only talked about that for two days wanting his mom to let him see, Miss Kim before she went home. He came running into the office and crawled up on my lap just clinging to my neck and holding on for dear life. I just rocked him and his mom said, he can't stand that you are leaving and we are all sad. then she told me that they were going to get him baptised and asked him who he wanted to be his godmother - explaining about baptism and godmothers - he said "Ms. Kim" so she asked me if I would come back when he could be baptised with me here. I asked him - "do you wnt me to be your Godmother?" He just shook his head yes and hugged me tighter. His mom started crying and we just hugged and cried. The connections I feel with the people here are hard to explain. He would not leave me to go home.
Then I was given a farewell lunchoen. We had a dish that I have never had called "black dish" and homemade corn tortillas. Everyone was like this is the best food we have ever had and Ms. Rosallea just smiled and said I saved the best for Ms. Kim. I found out that it is a special local food that is used for special occassions. the teachers and Ms. Grace and Ms. Laura were to gracious and said such nice things. One person said that they had never met anyone not from Belize that would hold these kids and love them no matter what - that I truly love them all and that they know I love the teachers too. I do love them and it is so hard to leave so the love I feel in return. Mr. Vernon gave me a piece of jewelry that he made that is a musical G-cleff with a heart so I could remember my drummers.
My drummers....remember that they were the discipline problems to begin with - I had a professional drummer - the one who made the drums...come to hear them on Wednesday at my condo - we played on the beach side and had pizza. He was so impressed that he is going to continue the drumming school. We had other drummers - adults - come by and stop and they were very impressed. The children were so worried that they wouldn't get to keep drumming but God answers prayers as I could stand to dissappoint them.
It was a very trying week. I can't g0 into how hard it was but if you want to see it go to the Ambergris Caye website and check out the San Pedro Daily Sun for Thursday of last week. The headlines inlcude - Police vs. Holy Cross or something like that. I will fill you all in when I get there. I felt like I ws back in Prentiss county Mississippi in 1985. some of you understand a good ole boy system. enough said.
Monday - I was in Belize City doing a workshop for all the Anglican School Vice principals. It was really good to make that connections and meet them. It was fun and I have become fond of the water taxi - the ride across the ocean is relaxing. The ocean is just a healing force for me - physically, spiritually, emotionally...what will I do without my ocean - I do not even need my blood pressure pills here...
I had a very hard time telling Amrie good-bye tonight. She is the PhD student who has been working with me from Germany. She has a cousing here also - Christoff - who has become a good friend. He is working with Dr. Danny while working on his medical degree. they are both awesome people and I will miss them so much. We have become very close and I can't stand to think i will be in MS and she is Austria.
Biggs gave me a bear hug and told me to suck it up that I would be back. Leave it to Biggs to st me straight. He actually allowed me to cry though.
Well, I am packed and ready for bed. Mr. Victor, my taxi driver/counselor will not allow me to go to the airport with the folks from Paradise Villas so he is picking me up at 8:30 am. I have said my good-byes and given my "I will be back!"
I will be home tomorrow night - so see some of you very soon.