Thursday, June 21, 2012

"I Wish Nothing But The Best For You"

It's been almost two months since I have been home from Rio (and ironically, two months until I leave for Honduras) and not a day goes by that I don't think about my students and my experiences there.

My last day there was CRAZY! Honestly, I don't remember the morning. Not even a little bit, not even at all. In the afternoon, the kids sent me to me down to 2ndA to "read them a story and tell them hi from Ms. Shafer." I kind of had a feeling that something was up because I hadn't talked to these students or their teacher my entire time in Brazil. And Paulinha and Heitor may have dropped little hints on accident. But I went with it.

My little girls.
I went down the hall and read a book to the second graders and we chatted for a bit. Camila came to get me while I was still reading the story and I told her that I would be down when I was done with the book. Fast forward about three minutes and she's back in the classroom with Lara, Paula, and Sophia and they are doing their best to look absolutely panicked saying that I HAD to get back to our classroom. I tell them that I decided to stay in second grade, I passed first grade and am moving up to second grade. Cheers erupted from the second graders and my poor girls looked like they could have burst into tears.
While singing Adele.
I said good-bye to the second graders and went down the hall, holding hands with the girls. They were jabbering a mile a minute about how it was an emergency and how I needed to get back right away. As I walked into the classroom all of the lights were turned off and the students shouted "We will miss you, Mees Casa!" Even though I knew it was coming, I had to blink back the tears. I don't know which student started it, but they all ran up to hug me and soon I was sandwiched in a 19 student hug. We ate snacks and took pictures and just had fun enjoying our last hour together.

The boys-- what a handful.
Guilherme played his Adele CD and all of the students sang "Someone Like You". I understand that it's about a break-up, but wow, could he have played a song that made me cry more? Geeze. Around 3:15, Ms. Cruz told all the kids that it was time for the bus kids to leave. Enter-- tears. From all parties. I kneeled down to hug the kids and started SOBBING. Giant, non-stop crocodile tears. Some of the bus kids had already left the room before I started crying and I heard Ramiro yell out the door "COME LOOK! MEES IS CRYING!" Which made me laugh because they are all just so precious.

My precious little girls.
I hugged each student and told them how much I would miss them. Camila pretty much just brushed my arm and then walked out the door. I was pretty bummed because she'd been hanging on me all day and I was really going to miss her, so our good-bye was pretty lame. Ms. Cruz peeked out in the hallway and told me that Camila was out in the hallway sobbing. Which is why she couldn't stay to say good-bye to me. Because it was too hard for her. It broke my heart.

The best teachers ever and I-- couldn't have done this without them.
The good-byes were tough. Each student was different in how they dealt with good-byes and I knew that I was going to miss each and every one of them. I missed them as soon as we said good-bye, I miss them two months later. They were crazy and rambunctious and loud and overwhelming. But, over the course of twelve weeks, those 19 students in 1st Grade A stole my heart and made it almost impossible to leave Rio.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Decision.

Not to mirror Lebron in the heat of the NBA Finals (see what I did there?), but I have to say, I'm taking my talents to Honduras.

Yes, it's true. As of yesterday,  I am the 1st and 2nd grade English teacher at Siguatepeque Bilingual Christian School in Siguatepeque, Honduras. I am incredibly excited and blessed to be given this opportunity and cannot wait to get started! That isn't to say that I'm not nervous because I really don't feel old enough to be a teacher!!

As far as the logistics go, I'm employed on a year to year basis. So next summer I can decide that I want to stay for longer and, assuming that the school likes me, I can sign up for another year. If not, I'll be in Honduras until June. I leave the States on August 10 and school begins at the end of August. I will be in Honduras from August- mid December. I'll be able to spend Christmas and New Years at home and will the return to Honduras at the beginning of January. After that, I'll be home in June to enjoy the summer with my family and friends.

And when I get to Siguatepeque, I have this little gem waiting to see me.

Miss Vilma, I'm coming for you! <3