And I've certainly never been very good at them, despite the fact that I think I've had more than my fair share of practice. But seriously, other than excitement revolving around the next step, who really likes to say goodbye to people they care about? Until my dad retired from the Navy, I moved every 2-3 years growing up, and I remember how awful it was each time we left "home" to move to another. I never quite caught on to the fact that "Home" was a feeling that developed very quickly for me. But still... this time things feel different. My investment and relationships here are deep and grounded, and I've been dreading these goodbyes.
Even though I had my last day teaching in the kindergarten last week, I went back yesterday for what I thought was a celebration of International Roma Culture Day. I knew it was also going to serve as a pointed platform for goodbyes, but I had no idea how amazing the morning was going to be! The teacher I've been working with opened with an address for me, then the kids sang songs and did a couple of poem repetitions before singing a few Roma songs. Then I was presented with a certificate and some gifts (2 Samokov folklore cds and some little keepsakes :)) and a whooolllleee lot of hugs. I nearly fell over a few times when my knees would get attacked by my fav kinders. :)
Singing during the program. :) So cute!
I can't get over how adorably sweet these little ones are.
Katie-Kinder pile! I'm down there somewhere... I LOVE this photo.
Me, the chickens, Iskra (on the left - the teacher I work with most directly), and then the director of all of the kindergartens in Samokov of Lili, the other teacher for my class.
This was probably taken about 30 seconds before I almost capsized.