"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Sunday, December 22, 2013

day two: jennifer


"It was only my second day at Saint Mary Kevin, but Ritah asked THE question anyway, 'Jennifer, are you coming back next year?'  As hard as I try to stay in the moment, to enjoy each and every minute of my time here with the children, it is difficult to not think about the coming of the last day.  It's hard for the children, too.  The sense of anticipation we feel as team members pales in comparison to the energy and excitement at SMK as they ready their songs, dances, and welcome posters for our arrival. As we start projects, hold hands, and learn names, there is the ever-present knowing that the end is all too near.  My answer to Ritah was far from adequate, 'I don't know if I will be back next year; that's a long way off.  Let's just enjoy today.'  It's not the answer she wanted to hear or the answer I wanted to give.  

What I hope Ritah will come to understand is that a part of me never leaves SMK. In fact, each time the children welcome me into their family, a little more of me remains. Their faces linger longer when I close my eyes; their smiles leave bigger imprints on my heart; their names echo in my mind.

Most people who have made the long distance trip to Kajjansi actually do return.  Of this year's delegation, half are returning team members.  If you've ever considered taking this trip...making the leap of faith that you can make a difference...that these children can make a difference to you...say 'Yes.'  Just be prepared to say it more than once.

'Ritah, I will be back.  You can count on it.'"

- Jennifer

Jenn, Joan, Evalyn, Scovia and Jeff

no caption needed!

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