Family and Friends,
First of all, I have to say that I feel so incredibly blessed to have this opportunity, and I have to thank all of those who have worked to make this trip a reality. This whole week has been somewhat surreal, but it has been one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my life.
Teaching at San Pablo has been challenging, but working with the teachers and children has been incredible. The simple things we take for granted everyday are considered a luxury here. The struggles these people encounter are unimaginable until you witness it firsthand, but they still manage to have smiles on their faces. The teachers at San Pablo wade across the river to teach each day; if that doesn’t display passion and dedication, then I don’t what does. The children here are some of the brightest and quick-witted I have encountered. They are beyond tough because they have to be, but still yet, they are so kind and sweet. All they really want is love, attention, and affection, and they have such a thirst for knowledge. I have learned that kids will be kids, no matter where they are.
Today, there was a team of medical workers in the San Pablo village. The children did not attend school, so they could be seen by doctors. We took advantage of this time and had a professional development meeting with the teachers, which was very beneficial to both sides. We were able to discuss classroom management techniques and ways to use the math manipulatives we will be leaving for them and their students. I know I am taking away so much more than what I am leaving them, but I hope to have left even just the tiniest impression on the teachers and students.
Above all, I have learned the power of resilience. No matter how adverse the conditions, everything should be for the children, and the teachers of San Pablo have demonstrated this. I have been truly touched and inspired, and I know my life will be forever changed.