I have not been able to stop thinking of the kids in the camp since I woke up this morning.
I have not been able to stop thinking about those special moments of impact.
The moment when the quiet introverted kid who hasn’t spoken a word all day is finally screaming with laughter and partaking in the activities with his friends.
The moment when the kid who has been sulking finally breaks into a smile.
The moment when the cheeky trouble-maker of the class is helping us clean up the garbage off the classroom floor.
The moment the girls finally agree to play with boys because in spite of it all, in the end, they are still only kids.
The moment one of the kids puts themselves in my arms and lifts up a bleeding finger or a bruised elbow asking me to fix it with a bandage and a kiss.
The moment one of the older kids is standing alone shyly at the edge of my classroom door waiting for me to be alone so she can tell me her coming-of-age problems.
The moment one of the kids leaves their group just to run over and give me a kiss.
The moment just before the goodbye when I see one of the kids looking around and I just somehow know they’re looking for me.
People always ask realistically what can be accomplished in just a week. It does not take a week to turn a life around. Or even a day. It takes one moment. That one moment of impact. One moment to change a life – ours and theirs.
And the moment I watch the volunteers pack up and get on the bus, dance on the bus ride back to the city.
I’m rather quiet on the bus ride back. I’m not the most memorable volunteer. Not the one who tells jokes or laughs or dances or is the life of the party.
I say it’s because I’m tired but it’s not. I’m just too overwhelmed with emotion; too grateful to be there with them; too thankful to them for being the people they are; too shy to say I love you.
I love you guys. I do…
Project Amal ou salam, the family we choose