Terrified…Lost…Enthusiastic…Motivated...These are only a few emotions that can begin to describe how some of us ASB’ers are feeling. This trip has been taken to a whole new level, and it’s safe to say I think some of us are even at a loss of words. As I’m sitting here reflecting upon this overall experience, and our last day with the children at Palms Elementary school, I really am having trouble…It’s difficult to verbalize all of the thoughts and emotions encompassing my brain. I have never, since the day I’ve wanted to be an educator, experienced the emotions I felt yesterday. Some often say that “goodbye” isn’t forever, and with these children I’d like to say it isn’t for me. But as we hugged our kids, turned our backs from names being screamed, and wiped the streaming tears off of our cheek, one can’t help but feel that forever, is forever. I know, along with each and every person on this trip, that the service we have done for these children, and this community the past week, has left an imprint. Some of those kids did not want to say bye to us, and probably couldn’t fathom the fact that we would never be back again. But the question is, what do we do now? We’ve volunteered with these inner-city schools for 4 days, and made a world of a difference. Now, the future is in our hands. We’ve seen how poorly run these schools are, and the lacking beauty of the school’s appearance. From the picnic tables we worked our butts off to create, to the beautiful murals we painted on the walls, these schools have already been transformed. As we sat there on Thursday saying goodbye to the kids, and stood there Friday looking out to all of the beautiful work we created, there were no words. That final day of service almost made me feel like I was hit by a truck; I was lost and confused, yet extremely motivated and FIRED UP! It’s our job as not only future educators, but humans in this world, to create what’s next to come. Together, we need to do something that will make a difference for forever. After all, ASBers, haven’t we learned that together is better than alone?
Grand Valley State University