(October 24th, 2011)
The fields of rice have turned yellow, and the mornings very cold. I have been here one month.
It’s twenty to 9, I’ve been up since 6. Today I feel I can write again, and I am happy I can do it. I’ve been only two weeks in school, but I now know working with children is no easy stuff. You’re either there for them, 100% or more, or you fail. If I managed to leave them all with a little something that will help them grow, I am content. I believe I did. The teachers say so, the kids I feel. I wish the girls were not overlooked, just because they are girls, and by nature a burden to their families and society, I wish no child would get hit, so he’s quiet; I wish all these children would feel welcomed someday, somewhere, buy someone in their lives – the way they made me feel welcomed. It’s Monday today, I still have on my table the orange flowers they had picked on Thursday morning, to offer me.
If you cannot rest within yourself, you cannot make it here. You’re totally out of your comfort zone, contrasts hit you one after another, the hit at midday makes your brain block; it’s only the body that keeps fighting to carry on through these hours of fire. So you have to be able to let your brain rest, not ask anything from it for a while. And this can be the hardest thing. To give in, for a while. For as long as it’s needed.
I know I want to be around children, do something for them, with them; I don’t know yet when and how will I be doing this, and it’s ok. The answer will become clear, it’s just not here yet. I do think more and more about going back to Romania: my roots are there, my good old friends whom I miss, my niece, whom I want to see growing up, and a people I know, I would be able to understand, to serve, better than any other people in the world maybe. And I know that much at least: that our cultural and historical inheritances are hard rocks to polish, and they are extremely sensitive matters when it comes to working with people. Last, but not least, I’ve learned to look with compassion at my own country since I am away, to value what we have that is so good and not enough valued – our sensitivity; and I know I have to learn my way towards the meaning of these words: look to be interested, not interesting. (Jaqueline Novogratz’s beautiful, beautiful The Blue Sweater).