The end of our time in Italy came all too quickly. I was distraught over leaving the tutors that had become my best friends in this short period of time. We had to be best friends; we were one another’s life lines. It saddened me even more, however, to leave my students. After three weeks all language barriers had disappeared. I still couldn’t understand what they were saying most of the time, just as they still couldn’t completely understand me. But I knew the tone of their voice and their facial expressions. They knew when I was pleased or angry with them. We’d come to an understanding with one another.
On Monday of the last week, we went to a park for the day. The kids loved it! The tutors loved it! It was just a day of freedom that the kids didn’t have to abide by structure and we didn’t have to force them to abide by any structures. We all got sun-burnt – the tutors anyway. And at the end of the day, we had a water fight. It began innocently enough. One of the students spitting water at another and that student, in an attempt to get her back poured his bottle over her head. When Sinead (one of the tutors) went over to break it up, they threw water on her and thus began an hour-long water battle. By the end, everyone was drenched! The tutors, the students, even the director had water dripping from his clothes.
The last day of camp I was explaining to my students what we would be doing for the day. There was a presentation at the end of the day for the parents and each class performed a skit they’d spent the entire three weeks working on. Edo speaks up from his seat, which was separated from all the others due to his behavior, “And then you go back to America?”
I smiled and nodded. “Yep, then I go back to my home in America.”
He looked down and then back up again. “And then we’ll never see you again?”
My heart broke a little bit at that moment. I had considered the fact that I’d probably never see these children again but I hadn’t considered that they would. All I could do was shrug, “Maybe not.”
That night John and I took the metro to the bus station. We took the bus to the airport and started our long journey home. We were excited to go home and see our friends and family but the journey home had an overhanging, unspoken tension. Would we ever see those children again? Would we ever see our co-tutors again? Would we ever see Italy again? A year later I’d like to answer all of those questions with a resounding, “Yes!”
I figured I’d go ahead and finish up posting this. Let me know what you think!