December 22, 2012
Now that my school days are over, one thing I’ve been doing in my free time is visiting at a nearby school and home for children. It is a life-giving place, and one that inspires me with the wonderful doors it is opening for young people in this county. One of my jobs there has been to conduct mock interviews with teens who are applying for exchange programs at high schools in the US. Their answers amaze me. When I asked one about her dreams for the future, she told me that she wants to be a cardiologist. She lost an older sister to heart failure and dreams of preventing such losses for others. I asked another girl about her dreams, and she spoke of entering humanitarian work, helping other women in this county to have the opportunities she herself has only recently discovered. They spoke of sports, too, candidly talking of a love for activities that make them feel free.
In between interviews this morning, I spoke with the founder of the organization about what to expect after the loss, just last night, of one of my school’s students. She ventured a solemn thought as to why funerals are such intensely exhausting displays of mourning here: death is an outlet, in a sense: it opens the door and allows for people to grieve for all the losses and pains and hardships that life so readily bombards them with here. In the same way that I would read books as a child, and weep for the characters when I really wept for myself, people in this country harbor great oceans of sadness that need to be released . . . in a rather mundane way to express it, an excuse to grieve.
This photo is of one of the girls looking down from her bedroom.It was a beautiful moment for me, with the sun shining brightly through the winter’s chill, lightening spirits and bringing hope.