(Editor's Note: Tonight, I intended to pawn off this duty to two students, but we got so late in our reflection that I felt bad keeping them up any longer and decided to write the entry myself. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be with a group of students and faculty where the risk of an overlong-but-still-meaningful reflection is real and present.)
|Final Day Swimming|
|Final Day Shenanigans|
|Ms. Engelberg notices me taking a photo of her showing photos to St. Paul's students|
|Giddings and only one other girl this time|
|Father Walin (center) gets in on the action|
I once heard someone say that the promise of a great school is that it should be a place where each child is known. Someone will know that child's name and that child's story and no one will be a simple number. In listening to the students speak about their experiences in the times we spend together in casual conversation over dinner or in transit from place to place, it seems these students have, at least in small part, done this. We shared the different pictures of what we now call "our" kids and reflected on our hopes on what these students would do or become. Over our reflection tonight, though we talked about large ideas that no single person can hope to solve, we always returned to the stories of the individuals we'd met, never forgetting that these problems affect actual human beings and are not simply concepts in abstraction or words and numbers on a printed page. I'll always remember Don Luigi, the student who pulled me aside to say a goodbye he pieced together out of the little (but still impressive) English he knew. As he grasped for the words to express his thoughts, I realized that he was trying to say that he was sad that I was going and that he'd miss me. I realized I'd have to teach him how to say those words, mostly because I realized I'd have to use them to express how I felt in that moment.
|Don Luigi and I|
|We gave them bubbles...|
|...and enjoyed them ourselves...|
|Dokken walks with a new friend|
We'd discussed a possibility over dinner that our feelings and relationships that we've gained over this project might be a bit selfish--that we are more helping ourselves grow and learn, and not necessarily benefitting the community of Montrouis as much as we are benefitting ourselves. Though I think this is a very real danger, the depth of stories and the difficulty of questioning leads me to believe that we have made a small step towards achieving otherwise. We get to take a break from the physical rigors of the camp, but I know that we won't be taking a break from the pictures in our minds anytime soon. Plus, we're still in Haiti! Personally, I can't wait to see what the next two days--and beyond--bring.
|They just really wanted their picture taken|
|Halle and two boys, one of whom is very happy to be with her (or to have a bag of water)|
|Final moments of camp|
|Jenn and the Sleeping Child|