This is in caps for a reason.
Also, my friend sent this email to us, and I think he worded it perfectly for my experience.
I called this experience a “MAJOR change of pace” a second ago. I paused the way you kinda pause when you know something’s not quite right. Even all caps felt inadequate. It doesn’t really capture that feeling when my teacher failed to show up to class for the 6th time in a row. It can’t quite recreate watching that sunrise from Bunaken while the boats rocked and creaked and the fisherman rowed on through. “Change of pace” doesn’t do much for seeing my mom “Ummi” crack her first goofy smile outside of the US. It does nothing for the random text messages that made me smile, or the talks that made me laugh out loud or rendered that sacred kindred sanity. “MAJOR” isn’t big enough to describe the importance of re-realizing why learning/teaching is life for me. It’s life. What a way to learn what home means and love it honestly. In imperialism and in multi-grain bagels. It has been great to see so many talented people with so many different stories. We’re quite the picture of America. I hope it has enlightened our hosts. From here, we’ll continue writing our own respective stories. There’ll be more plot twists, mundane stretches, and many more sunrises -prayerfully. Before we scatter to the 30 some-odd winds, I wanna say that I’m thankful our chapters got to dance for a couple tracks. There are only plans and ideas for where life might take us next. No matter the setting or characters, make it interest. Live the story.
Mountains, Rice Fields, & Funerals
Have a great week, and think good thoughts for my 12th graders. They’re taking the national exams in 7 subjects. If you fail one, you fail them all, and you don’t graduate. Good thoughts and prayers for them please! Today we had a ceremony where they asked for forgiveness and I wished them all good luck. I cried. The look of absolute fear and sadness brought actual tears to my eyes, and not to mention those of about 75% of the students. They need some serious support. Good thing these tests might be ruled as “illegal” for next year. Again, good thoughts.