Alicia Anderson

Class of 2018

Goodbyes for Ninos del Sol

30

JUNE 2017

Travels
Interact
Peru

I never thought I would be this emotional during this trip.

Today is the last day working with the ninos and I don’t think I have ever cried this much. I have gone through a lot of hard times and it surprises me that leaving a group of people I have only known for a week could hurt me more than ever. I have never met any group of people as welcoming and as kind as the kids and workers from Ninos Del Sol. You could look into someone’s eyes and just see the twinkle every time they smile and the peacefulness every time they speak.

The group at our Farewell Dinner.

The people I have met this week have completely changed how I view relationships. I have connected with people just through laughter, especially Luis. I only started to talk to him on the last day because he was so shy but we would make each other laugh every minute. Most of the time it was him laughing because I was crying but just his laugh made me smile. It was very hard to leave him because I hadn’t made a good enough relationship with him yet.

These faces . . . have moved me . . . and opened my heart up so much.

At the beginning of our going away party, Avishai led a ritual that joined everyone together. A lot of the people there were new faces. It was so amazing to see so many different people with such different personalities come together so peacefully. The fact that we were leaving finally hit me when everyone was saying what they were grateful for. Marco said he was grateful for meeting new friends and that is when I fell apart. I had already felt so close with him and the others and I never thought that would happen.

It even hurt me to leave the dogs. One of the dogs, Kiwicha, was a big part in Ninos Del Sol. She followed the ninos everywhere. She came with us to every hike and every presentation. She hopped from place to place on hikes, licked everyone’s faces during presentations, and always came back no matter where she went. You could see the happiness in everyone’s faces every time she came running by us.  

Alicia at Machu Picchu.

I can’t even imagine not seeing these faces again. They have moved me so much and opened my heart up so much. This was probably the hardest goodbye I have ever gone through. As I left, I tried very hard to mumble a thank you as tears streamed down my face. I am so thankful for everyone I have been able to meet and everything I have learned. Now I am known as the emotional one. As Avishai would say, “Shabbat shalom.”

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The next two weeks will offer an intermittent set of reflections from our students and chaperones as we encounter Peru.  Find and follow us here and at #InteractinPeru.

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