I Fell in Love 32 Times
Have you ever fallen in love? Have you ever fallen in love with more than one person? I have. I fell in love with 32 people in one week! “Impossible!” you may say, and a few weeks ago I might have agreed. But then I had the incredible honor of attending the 2014 Teacher Training in Shaoguan, China and “Bam!” — I fell in love 32 times!
Let me explain. At the beginning of August I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to the Believe in Me School in Shaoguan as part of the U.S. teacher training team. That in itself was an experience of a lifetime.
Can you imagine? Getting to be part of a training that gathered 36 people from all over the U.S. and China, all of them working to create a better future for some very special children? Just awesome!
But as awesome as those grownups were, they just couldn’t compare to the children that came barreling into the school that first afternoon amid shouts of surprise and glee, the banging of walkers being pushed from the elevator and the sound of running feet. Now, I can’t say I fell in love with all of the children immediately. It was organized chaos for a minute as we got everyone settled and ready to start learning, but the huge smile from David and tight hug from Harley had me falling fast!
What a whirlwind that first afternoon was! Some of the children were totally unfazed by the fact that their school had been invaded by total strangers; others were a little more wary.
One thing that can be said for all of them is that they quickly adjusted to the change in their routine and were game to try the new activities we had planned for them. That is testament to the wonderful job their teachers are doing in the school. It became very obvious, very quickly, that the school is a place where the children feel safe and secure.
They know that their teachers care for them, and they trust that they will be taken care of. How incredible is that?
Over the course of the next week every single child — all 32 of them — had me falling in love with them.
They each have such wonderfully different personalities. There are those that are confident and those that are shy, those that are mischievous and those that are serious cuddle bugs!
All of them are precious beyond measure. For many of the children, the Believe In Me School is the one place where they can really let their personality shine.
They can be silly, they can be curious, they can be creative, they can be dramatic…they can be children!
The Believe In Me Shaoguan School is a very special place. It’s a place of learning, a place of safety, a place of comfort and a place of happiness. It’s a place that exists because of generous donors who support the students and give them a reason to hope and dream. Without this continued support, the school would not be possible. We are so grateful for all those who have given so far, so that these children are able to look forward to going to school each day.
If you would like to know how to become a part of this very special place, or if you would like to know more about the children who have stolen my heart, please consider sponsoring one of the students show on our sponsorship page. We thank you for considering being a part of this wonderful school!
~Vicki Cavalier is LWB’s Education Director.