I wanted to write the blog today because I think I am figuring out this whole service thing. We have been working with the kids in the classroom and we cleaned up the beach, but I think one of the most important things we have done is having dance parties with each grade. The little kids last week were unabashed and high energy, and they did not need our help to have fun. But the slightly more awkward seventh graders were a different story. There were only ten of them, and they were all prepubescent and uncomfortable. But as we started pulling kids out of their seats and they began having fun, it did not matter anymore that we were dancing awkwardly with a bunch of seventh graders. They were having a good time, and it did not matter what we were feeling. I think this is service in its purest form, just going out of your way and giving something of yourself to somenone else.
We have been so welcomed and treated so kindly that I have felt guilty about it. But this symbiotic relationship is what we have cultivated with this school, and this trip is teaching me that helping someone else does not have to be entirely selfless, and that it is OK to accept and return kindness wherever we are.
P.S. from Molly: Today Emily celebrated her 18th birthday and our gracious Nicaraguan hosts surprised us with a yummy birthday cake in honor of both Emily and Aaliyah, who celebrated her 17th birthday here a week ago.