Thursday, February 16, 2012
Valentine's Day Hugs
Hugs are awesome.
Sadly, I sometimes go weeks without them here.
Adults in my town tend to reserve hugs for a few special occasions: birthdays, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, and Valentine's Day. When I get a real hug from an adult, it's amazing. But these are rare occasions.
It's the kids that keep me breathing. I'm always amazed by them. How creative and energetic they are. How willing they are to let go of differences and care about a slightly awkward pants-wearing giantess with glasses, light hair, light skin, and light eyes. Their minds are so open.
I'm thinking of this because on Tuesday we celebrated "Day of Affection and Friendship," the Guatemalan version of Valentine's Day. To the extent that it's celebrated in my town, people might eat a special snack or cake, exchange hand-made cards, or simply exchange hugs. It's a low-key affair.
I happened to fall into a celebration at a school, which required me to teach an impromptu and very short-lived lesson on Valentine's Day English vocabulary, eat double snack, and accept endless hugs from a bunch of adorable kids. Life is hard ;-)
I was mobbed by at least four different groups of students looking for hugs. And two students I had never met before made me a Valentine's Day card, which totally made my day. I doubt I will ever achieve this level of rock-star fame again.
There is a LOT going on right now, as I approach a week left until my official close-of-service date. So much more to do before that date, and before I leave for real later on.
Better to get as many hugs as possible while I still can!