Well, here it is. My last blog post of my time here in Berega. If you have been reading any of these since I got here a year ago, you’ll know that this experience has been a crazy whirlwind of an adventure. Lots of extreme highs and even more extreme lows, but overall the most incredible and rewarding time of my life. The last week has been filled with packing and cleaning, and cherishing each moment I have left with my kids. I’m pretty scared about returning to the ‘normal’ world, what things will be like without my school, my students, and everything else about this place I’ve fallen in love with. Going home and attending school seems like the most boring thing ever compared to the continuous excitement I’ve had over here. I would honestly stay forever, if I didn’t truly believe it was God’s plan for me to go to medical school so I can be of more use to Him in the future. But I never know what is in store for me, maybe I’ll come back to Berega one day as a doctor!
Getting ready to leave has been a bit stressful to say the least. Because exams are this week, I’ve spent most of my time writing, correcting, and printing off tests in 10 subject areas. I gave my English and Science tests on Thursday and I am so proud of my students. More than half passed with a 70 or higher in every class! And it’s only the midterm so those who didn’t pass have 6 more months to study for the final. It’s been the most incredible thing, to teach these kids and see them learn and grow, and to know that I have played a role in this fundamental stage of their lives. Some of these kids could barely write a sentence when I first met them, now they are writing full paragraphs and imaginative stories. I can’t imagine anything more rewarding than being a part of these students’ education.
So the day after my tests I threw a huge party for my Standard 1, 2, 3, and 4 kids. To say this was chaotic would be an understatement, but it was so much fun. We did relay races, played games, had a football match, ate snacks, gave away prizes, and took lots of pictures. Then that night, I invited the older kids to come sleep over at my house… we had a blast! We watched movies and had pillow fights, talked til late into the night and snuggled on the floor. It was wonderful. If anything, I’ll come back to Berega just to have another sleepover! Seriously, those kids are the best.
Today was my last day of school, I gave back my graded tests and explained to my students the things they got wrong. Then we hugged and kissed and cried the rest of the day. My heart completely broke to see my sweet kids crying and then having to say no when they asked if I would please stay in Berega. I just can’t believe I won’t see these children whenever I want to, that I won’t hear ‘Teachaaaa Chaween’ anymore, that kids won’t be knocking on my door all afternoon hoping to play with me. I know I’ll come back but not knowing when is the hardest part. I think of these children like my own and going back to America after all we have been through feels like I’m abandoning them. I hope they know how much I truly love them and how much they have inspired me, and that I’ll think of them always for the rest of my life. They have given me more joy, contentment, and love in these past twelve months than I’ve ever felt, and I hope I’ve given the same to them.
If you have ever thought about volunteering abroad I highly recommend it. It will open your eyes and fill your heart and enrich your life in ways you can’t imagine. I’m so grateful for the things I have done here and the people I have met, but I know it’s time to move on to the next chapter- medical school! So take care everyone, until next time!! Oh and the internet isn’t good enough for pictures this time, but I promise a whole bunch of them when I return to the land of fast wifi!!!