All of the SStS girls and I would agree that the relationships that we have formed with the Hope Girls over the past fourteen days have really taken us by surprise. Fourteen days does not sound like a long time, but when we had our closing ceremony yesterday there was not a dry eye in the room. All of us wrote letters for a few girls of our choice and presented them with bracelets to the girls. Then we all lined up and had the girls sit down while we told them what they had taught us. Some of us had been thinking about the lessons we had learned, but had yet to actually voice them. Grace and Madeliene talked about how they had learned from the girls that education is a privilege that we take for granted in America and that these girls value it with everything they have. I talked about how they taught me that you can always find happiness within yourself even after you are faced with challenges that would knock most people off f their feet. After more clapping and crying I saw little Krishma quietly sneak off to her room. I followed her after a minute and peeked through the door. I found her crying with her face in her hands and bundled her up in my arms. We cried together for awhile before I looked at her and told her I would never forget her and that she was beautiful and smart and was going to be a great leader one day. I know she didn’t understand everything I said but she choked out a small thank you and hugged me again, so I think she got the message. Later she was talking to Karma, and she asked him why she had tears in her eyes when we were saying goodbye. It was heartbreaking to see one of those little angels crying, but it was gratifying to know that our love and friendship has resonated so well with them. I really will never forget these girls and their bright smiles, and the closing ceremony was a great way to commemorate our time together.
30th of June, 2013