March 19 – 4:45PM
We’ve been on leg 3 of this trip since 7:15AM 🙂 Leg 3 is, of course, the road trip back home to New York City. As much as I hated leaving New Orleans, now that we’re on our way back, I really want to get back, check my midterm grades and just study a little bit. Take a break from the reality check I’ve lived through this week, you know? We spent the past 8 days without a single care towards school or classes or syllabi and thats not going to make them disappear. They’re still here and I still have school this Monday 😦 I’m looking forward to getting on the computer again, updating my livejournal with all of this and cracking open a textbook again. I’m going to be productive! I’ve actually slept a majority of the morning and early afternoon. Everybody was drowsy then but I’m definitely awake now. Not going to lie, I wish I had a day or two back at home before classes started. As it is however, I have until 12:30 on Monday. Reminder to myself – I really need to look over the chapter for my comparative politics class – our presentation is next Wednesday so I want to get that started.
Anyway, back to the present, we’re still somewhere in Tennessee, we’ll be stopping overnight in Roanoke (Rowan Oak? I don’t even know), Virginia. I could potentially be repeating myself. I’m not sure. The music in the car is sort of (really) distracting lol. And my own handwriting gets really sloppin in the car. Especially towards the end of the page.
I bought some tape and a new homework folder for Aaron – he’s one of the kids I’m really going to miss. He has severe ADHD I believe, but he’s also on a pretty heavy dosage of Adderall (sp?) and it makes him actually fall asleep in the morning and afternoon. Every day. And still, that child manages to understand all of the new concepts they learn.
Then there was Cornell, who had quite possibly the cutest boy voice I have ever heard. I think my heart broke a little every time I heard him say my name. Or just spoke anything. I really didn’t want to leave at all. AT ALLLLL. Cornell was adorable ❤ The first day we worked there with the kids, he pronounced his name with such a strong accent I thought his name was Kernall or Kanell or Jamell or anything…it could have beeen ANYTHING I was so clueless I just tried replicating the sounds when I tried to get his attention. I must have sounded like such a southern wannabe rofl. And then there was a Raheem and a Jaheem and a Kyheem and all of those boys were sitting on a table together with a girl named Snasia but her name was actually pronounced as you would Shanaya…yeah it was a lot to soak in. My point though is, I kept mixing the boys names up and evers since then, Cornell would run up to me in the morning, hug me, and then ask me if I remembered his name yet. Of course I did because he was just SO cute and his voice was soooooooooooo adorable (it reminded me a little bit of Vibhor’s voice actually. Same mischievous undertone and everything)
Danielle and Brandy were the 2 girls I interacted with the most althugh all of them would run their fingers through my hair for fun (its really long and soft, or so I’m told). I think Dani and Brandy were both incredibly smart though, which I love. Brandy, when she found out we were from NYU, confided to me the second day that she had heard of NYU and that it was in new york city and that new york city was magic and she was going to live there and go to college there just like me.
It breaks my heart having to leave these children. Do you see why?
IDanielle had like..2 front teeth and thats all. SO CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTE. All of them are in various stages of losing their baby teeth right now haha. Super cute, thin, adorableeeee features.
I’m leaving part of my heart behind in New Orleans. I really am, because I could go on for pages and pages about my little kids. All 21 of them have impacted me as much as I’ve impacted them, if not more. I went there thinking I would feel satisfaction from helping out a community in need. Instead, this community has shown me so much respect and hospitality that I am leaving revitalized knowing that THEY helped me. I’m humbled and honored to have met the people here, I really am. I don’t know…I really hope I’ll revisit these children sometime. The whole thing is tough, devastating even to me. Devoting your life for a week to 21 little 2nd graders, coming and bringing happiness, warmth, knowledge, and individual attention into their lives every single day for a week and then in the end, just saying bye and driving back to NY as if we haven’t left behind such an important part of ourselves with them. Of course we have. You can’t just DO that and then leave unchanged. No matter how stoic you are, this vacation we went on has power beyond words. It was an incredible, an amazing experience. As if we can blink and forget that these kids even existed. I don’t know what to say, I’m just making myself want to cry again.
i cried when I left. So did Cornell when he tugged on my shirt and begged me to take me to New York in the car with him. He was like..prypry I won’t take up too much space. And then I just couldn’t handle it, I started crying. I wish I could have been a part of their lives for longer. There are an infinite amount of things still to be said, but I’m taking a break for now. I need some time emotionally before I can begin to reminisce without tears.
I will however, point out that the kids all made me little souvenirs to take back. I’m going to scan them and make a collage/poster to print out and put in my room back at home. These memories were priceless.