After classes end and the kids are ready to go home, we get into groups and the kids point us to which side of the island they live on. Today I walked Cristal and Johari home, they live to the left of Hacienda Merida. A LOT to the left. With no street names, it’s hard for me to tell where I am but obviously, it’s a breeze to these kids. The kids talked to everyone they saw and asked them about how their families were doing. The sense of community is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Johari invited me to her home and introduced me to her mother. When I met Johari’s mom, I made sure to tell her what great taste in names she had. After saying “¡Adios!” and “¡Hasta mañana!” to Johari and her mom, they sent me on my way with a smile and a watermelon to take home with me.
This girl, that I’ve known for a day, gave me a warm welcome into her home and a watermelon but my neighbors back in Boston won’t even talk to me. Cristal and I continued down the path, watermelon and bike in hand. Though I’m teaching these kids English, I am learning so much more from them. They’re lively when it’s too hot for me to function, and happy when it rains cause their plants are getting nourished. I thank these kids for holding my hand to help me leap the puddle, and for the watermelons, but most of all I thank them for showing me how happy I should be with the little things I tend to look over. I know that I didn’t change the world today, but I know I made the walk home a little more fun and a lot easier since I carried those pesky bikes up the rocky hill. When I get home in fourteen days, I’ll be sure to acknowledge what and who is there for me and maybe I’ll even try to spark up conversation with my neighbors.