After a month of training sessions, slang sessions, dance sessions, and a lot of bonding, the official hand-off from old to new is fast-approaching. The four of us (Amanda, Greta, Sam, and Andrea) have spent the month of September sharing stories and spirituality, building community, and looking towards the future of the Friends of Batahola Volunteers program. It has been incredibly enriching to have this month together, both for Greta and I to share our story with Sam and Andrea, and for us to be able to accompany Sam and Andrea as they take over program management and the English class. It will be exciting to see what other projects they get involved with at the Center!
Sam and Andrea are both settling into the neighborhood as well. Andrea has made friends with everyone on the path from her host family’s house to the Center, and Sam is now infamous for his first-place finish in the annual dance competition at the Kermes (yearly fundraiser). The English students love the new games they have brought to class, and they both have a gift for reaching out to those around them and hearing their stories.
Greta and I leave next week, so we are in the final stretch of good-byes, packing, and last Doña Cony helados (ice creams). Greta is heading home for a few months, looking forward to spending time with her family and continuing an online Master’s program in Urban Studies with a focus on Arts and Transformation. I am also heading home for a few months of quality time with my family and a bit of traveling to visit friends and family around the U.S.