It is that time of year…time to start packing up, time to plan my future post Peace Corps, time to finalize my travel plans to Europe, and sadly time to end my student English club for good. My kids are starting to understand that Miss. Elle, Ellie, and, my Elle will not be returning the following school year. Even though this is a difficult time and I have to say goodbye to these students who have become my kids, that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!
First, I must thank and send a shout out to my good friend Cristy from the real HU…Hampton University) and her students for participating in the pen-pal exchange with my students here in Mekele. They were so excited to receive your letters…for most of my students this is the first time they have ever received mail. Not only were they excited but they were so enthusiastic and eager to write you back. They took their time and asked me to edit and spell check every sentence and every word. They will forever be grateful and cherish the letters you’ve sent. So again…THANK YOU!
So…last Wednesday was officially the last English club that eventually turned into a photo-shoot. Needless to say we had too much fun. I started this memorable event with an awards ceremony. I passed out certificates of participation and each student was awarded with a copy of our Eager for English book (a book produced by Peace Corps Ethiopia and writers from America who wrote stories in the Ethiopian context), their exercise books (which I never let them take out of my sight until now), a pamphlet that promotes girl empowerment and leadership, and finally and probably their favorite award…candy! This activity was followed by a long long long photo shoot …
I received a few unexpected gifts from some of my students and directors at my school…I tried with all my might to hold back the tears but it’s hard when you see all your hard work reflected back at you in the kindest and most sweet ways.
Also, I was able to give my school and more specifically my directors a certificate of appreciation…and they returned the love at the daily school opening ceremony. Funny story…I was showing them the certificates for the students and they were so impressed that they asked if I could make one for myself for them to give to me…only in Ethiopia are you so grateful to receive a certificate you made for yourself. And I was so happy and thankful for everything and every experience. I was lucky to have a school support my programs in such a positive way.
Even though it was a long hard road to get here, it was worth every cancelled program, every change in schedule, and every day that I had to bug people to participate…learning English can be fun guys! I hope that is only one thing they remember about me because I will remember and value every moment I have spent at Lekatit 23 Primary School. So again…THANK YOU!