Going with the flow today meant small saltwater streams from blue eyes. The day didn’t start that way. Two boys ran to greet us, and proudly reached out to carry our bags. Our spirits called our bodies forth magnetically into the EP Chapel, uniting us in song and dance with the EP children in full thanksgiving. Beauty, the P3B teacher, dances with us down the aisle, immersed in joy. We greet the children and teachers, all alike in their elation and euphoria. We hear small giggles and feel hands reach out to us as students jump up and sing out to greet this new day.
Our hearts overflow as rivers of children pour out of the chapel and into the schoolyard, reaching to shake our hands or slap high fives. Today, they take the joy with them. The teachers always meet briefly after chapel; this was always a time of encouragement and celebration for our time together, but today’s brief gathering was particularly somber. This is our first without Vida. Tears stream from many eyes as we share of keeping her legacy alive through our newly created scholarship. We all miss Vida.
Lush hills still our hearts and minds as we move onto EP Sokode-Bagble for the late morning, to reunite P6 with their friends at Vail Mountain School. This is the third year these two classes will be connecting. Joy cascades toward a lit screen as the students see their friends at VMS, notice their projects in their hands, and hear them sing. They focus intensely, and murmur ever so slightly as they begin to learn the words and sing along. Break brings a welcomed playtime, as semi-circles of children watch curiously over our every move – a Simon Says of sorts, without the commands. Erin takes to the sandy lava-like rock mounds that cover the schoolyard, dancing and jumping, with smiles overflowing.
Our smiles and contentment continue long after we arrive home. We enjoy the glory of the late afternoon sunlight (without the exhausting heat) and we bask in the bliss and beauty of sharing this time with the hillside kids. We talk, laugh, they holler… and smile. More on their stories and our time together soon.