The first of so many “lasts” and my message to America

I still have some posts to make from my adventurous summer. But I don’t want to give the wrong impression a majority of Peace Corps. service- you simply stay at your site and do your job.

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And that’s what I’m doing now.

September 1st. historically marks the beginning of the school so even though it was Sunday – schools across Ukraine had their First Bell (aka “Day Of Knowledge”) ceremonies.

Since it had been rainy the last couple of days – my school moved the ceremony to our town’s palace of culture.

For me, it marked the beginning of so many ‘lasts.’

My school hasn’t had the best track record with keeping volunteers –  of the 7 they’ve had only 2 of them completed their service. So a lot of my students, were really surprised to see me.

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And yeah, seeing them – got me strangely sentimental. My fourth form all-stars are now fifth form rock stars. Taller and so excited to be joining our school’s Euro Club for the first year.

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My third-form babies have turned into all-stars… and my fifth formers… are now sixth formers wearing makeup and are at age when you have a crush on a girl you try to make them — cry… (yes there’s already been an incident).

They’re growing up.

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And I’ve finally noticed the difference.

What’s hard for me to grasp is how happy they are to see me again.

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“Miss Kimberly is the best!” – Sasha (yeah my ego is getting seriously bloated).

So, I’m having an emotional tug-of-war with myself for not extending.

I’m having an emotional tug-of-war for not realizing any bad day-(mainly the cold ones/the ones a goat chased me home) I had here were worth it.

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Because, they’re worth it.

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They’re so worth it.

So my message to volunteers in field is this: enjoy your time while you can.

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Appreciate it.

Savor it.

Take it in for all its worth the good and the bad. Because, you’ll soon realize that any sacrifice you made was worth your effort. 😀IMG_6845-2

To the Americans who read my blog:  Something has been weighing on my mind heavily. Educators have really become superheroes without the capes in our society. It has been a rough year for educators in America – between the events of December, 14, 2012…

To the teachers in Oklahoma who threw their bodies on top of children to protect them from a collapsing school building  during a tornado…

To the heroism of Antoinette Tuff who showed grace and compassion during an unimaginable situation…

As well the ever growing budget crisis affecting public schools across America, resulting in pay and benefit decreases.

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We should not have to live in a society in where one must be- a human shield for a child.

We should not have to live in a culture where- bullet-proof white boards in a classroom are a necessity.

But we do.

So appreciate your child’s teacher.

Love them.

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Thank them.

And on the first or last day of school show your appreciation the way Ukrainians do:  give them flowers, chocolates, a card, an iTunes gift certificate, or anything you believe they may like!

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Because, that teacher may be the only person besides yourself willing to die to protect your child’s life…

…And that’s just proof – that even in this messed up world love will always win. The good in humanity outnumbers the bad.IMG_6813

And somehow knowing that gives me the crazy hope one-day,  this world will be changed for the better. 😉

“When I was young most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew older heroes changed. So that now I can say… anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”

-Mr. Rogers

One thought on “The first of so many “lasts” and my message to America

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