April 28, 2010
The most rewarding part of being an international volunteer is looking into the eyes of the people you work with, in my case children of all ages, and realizing that not only do they appreciate what you are doing but they rely on your friendship. I am an English teacher at Colegio Paulino Salgado in Barranquilla, Colombia but I don´t view the kids as just my students: They are my friends.
We have exchanged stories, laughed together, argued, listened to music, teased eachother, played games, danced and helped eachother learn a foreign language. I miss them on the weekends, we wave to eachother in the street, we eat our lunch together on a daily basis, and hold eachother accountable for our actions. To me, this is the definition of a friendship. I can´t imagine a better way to spend my time than with friends who don´t judge, have respect for me, and share with me every bit of their life. This was supposed to be my chance to teach Colombian kids about my culture, but I am positive that they have taught me more than I have them.
The original plan was to stay with Colegio Paulino Salgado for three months, which ends this coming weekend. I wont be on a plane back to the states until summer vacations in the middle of June. Unfortunately, due to other obligations I can´t extend any longer but there is no doubt in my mind that I will be returning to Barranquilla. After all, there is always a good reason to visit your friends.
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