It's the last night. The last night of school year 2010-2011, Maxwell Adventist Academy. Tomorrow, students will take their last battery of final exams, and a few will finish packing their things (you should see the dorm now; Olympic hurdlers struggle to get through the hallways) and leave campus for the last time as freshmen. Sophomores and juniors will dream of going home, but are stuck here for IGCSE testing throughout the month of June. Seniors will scream and dance in the hallways for the last time. There will be hugs and laughter and joyful singing. I, however, have got so many conflicting feelings popcorning in my skull that I could sell blamo-sized buckets and offer refills, and still have some left over.
I love these kids.
I've spent more time signing yearbooks this week than eating (THAT'S noteworthy, let me tell you). I told myself I wouldn't read any of the notes in my yearbook until after grad, but I cracked today and read one... then two... then all of them. I feel special. Very special. Many, upon a trip to the Dark Continent, say they've left a piece of their heart in Africa. I've left a piece of my heart with each student. From random hi-fives and hugs ("embrace me!") in the cafeteria to rolling their eyes at me after another random moment in the dorm lobby, these kids more than tolerate me; they make me feel welcome. They make me feel at home.
That's why it's so hard to leave.
A recurring note I've written in countless yearbooks? "I'll see you when we get There...".
I pray I will. Every one.