Ice Cream Parties!!!

I can hardly believe it’s my last day in Shroma. It’s all gone so quickly…and dragged so slowly at times. I taught all my classes the song “We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” as you can see on that amazing chalkboard in the first picture below. I also followed through on my promise to have an Ice cream Party. Now, a word on that first: When you promise nearly 50 children in two different classes an Ice Cream Party at the end of a hard working semester….make sure Ice Cream is in season in that country in December. Yea, that’s right “in season.” Apparently, this country stops selling ice cream in the fall.  Luckily, Kanise saved me and had found a tub or two in Ureki – a town just north of Shroma. So on Monday, we ventured up there after school and found (I’m not even kidding) the very last reserved of ice cream in the entire country. Four beautiful tubs of ice cream lay buried at the bottom of a freezer filled with chicken and frozen khinkali (meat dumplings). I got all four and kept them in the freezer at Nino’s house until today. 

After learning and singing the song everyone whipped out little plates and forks for their ice cream party! I mixed crushed cookies in the ice cream – at first to just make it taste even better but then I realized it made the ice cream go further too! Ice cream in the winter was pretty weird with no in door heating I’ve got to say, but it was such a crazy special treat for all the kids I don’t think they minded how cold it was. Once they were finished and had licked their plates clean, they neatly wrapped them up in plastic bags to take home…..then came the good byes. (*tears. *many of them.)

We had groups hugs, individual hugs, boys only hugs and girls only hugs, and even more kisses on cheeks. I was given a red stringed necklace from Tamta, one of my 5th grade girls, and that is now my most treasured piece of jewelry. These kids who have so little give me all they have – these moments today are one of the sweetest moments I’ve had my entire life. To visibly see the impact I’ve had on these kids as well as the lasting change I’m leaving behind (in the form of books and chalkboards)….I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I was filled with supreme happiness and a sharp twinge of pain as I said good bye to the community I’d joined.

I went back over to my 6th grade class for one final goodbye. I walked into the room and looked at them all siting there – they looked at me and I opened my mouth to tell them that I was leaving, but burst into tears instead. They rushed to me and again, I had another round of hugs and kisses and tears being wiped from my face. I said all their names as I hugged them individually or gave them high-fives. I left with my eyes will watering and went to the teachers room to say my farewells. This was also hard to get through without a tissue or two on hand for everyone there.

I took a few deep breaths and started walking back home to pack my single suitcase for my travels home. As I walked through the cold, I had to admit, ice cream on the day you say good bye just can’t be beat.

5th Grade Class Pic with our Ice Cream Poster!

The greatest Hugs I’ve ever received.

Even more hugs!

6th Graders Celebrating!

 

 

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