See you later, Seeds of Hope

I’m writing this from my hostel in Cusco, already missing all the children and friends in Huaraz I just left. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived in Huaraz two months ago, but I got out so much more that I ever imagined. My last week at Seeds was insanely busy, since I was determined to finish the mural that we had all hoped to complete. I had tons of help from the other volunteers, and in only 5 days, we turned a brick wall with cracked white paint into a mural with important Peruvian imagery. It has the Peruvian national tree and flower, and the vicuña (animal kind of like a llama or alpaca). It also has Huascarán, a huge and beautiful mountain that you can see from the school itself. Finally, we got the kids to get involved by them painting their handprints for the flower petals and leaves of the tree. The director of the school and all the volunteers put our hands around the sun and all the kids and us wrote our names in them. Though I was so sad to leave the school after frantically finishing the last handprints on Friday night, I’m really happy to know that there is something physical left of my time there, something that the kids helped make too and can be proud of.
I also never imagined just how close I would get to all the kids. They are all amazingly unique and I am so happy I was there long enough to get to know a lot of them individually.
Throughout my whole time there, but especially the last week, the kids would ask me when I was leaving and when I’m coming back. At first, I would tell them when I’m leaving but just say I don’t know when I’m coming back. By the end, I still said I don’t know when, but I said I definitely will come back. I have seen the school and kids grow so much during my time there, I’m so excited to see what other great things happen in the future. The school grew physically, with the old chipping paint replaced by bright blue and a mural outside. New floors were put in out back so the kids didn’t have to play in the dirt. Also, I saw the kids learn as Mily learned to read and ran around the school reading to everyone from her book. Yadira started asking for harder math problems and remembering her multiplication.
Now I’m finishing up my summer in Peru with a trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu. I will be sure to stay in touch with Seeds of Hope and tell anyone who will listen about my amazing experience there, until I can go back myself.

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