My last day at the home had come. Unplanned, but it was full of events! A friend of mine Chris Wong who has been traveling in South America at the present time called me a couple days ago and asked if we could meet up. Because of my busy schedule, I couldn´t go to Lima to meet him, but we ended up arranging a visit to the home. And he´s a great cook, and I invited him to cook a lunch for the kids. So we started cooking early in the morning after breakfast while I was getting the last things ready for the fashion show in the afternoon. He made a tomato meat sauce with rice and a mango and celery salad. The kids as well as the adults loved the food.
As soon as we finished lunch, all my students along with the volunteers rushed to the therapy room, “the backstage”, to get all the hair, makeup and clothes ready. It was a chaos as expected because we had limited time and there is always something that goes wrong. After over 1.5 hours of hard work, we finally finished and the show started at 16:45 hour. The girls were nervous and so was I, and adrenalines rushed through all our brains. As the music of Lady Gaga´s Poker Face remix started, the “HARLi Spring-Summer 2011” fashion show (the brand name features initials of all the participants´ names) was opened by Ayita, whom I think had the most modelesque look. They all did well and I was so proud of them! When they finished walking and went backstage, they jumped up and down and so did I! We were too excited! Afterwards, the designers were introduced, but it was a bit funny as I totally forgot who designed whose for some of them, but thankfully the kids helped with that. Finally I gave thanks to all the participants for their hardwork and I gave a surprise. I announced three winners whom I thought had showed really good qualities throughout the workshop. Third place was Leticia who always had a positive attitude and concerned about the progress. Second place was Ayita who helped to sew a lot of the clothes regardless whether it´s hers or others and always participated with full energy. First place was Rafael who was my favorite student! He had showed dedication, perseverance and a positive attitude throughout the whole process, and he always loved to learn. So I awarded them a special dinner with us. They were very excited. I also invited Milagros because she helped me the whole day without any condition. And of course Lemar´t was invited without any reason!
Chris helped me cook some of the dishes. Most of them are without meat because Rafa doesn´t eat meat. I made tomato, potatoes and chicken soup, steamed broth egg, stir fried broccoli with garlic, and Chris made stir fried tomatoes and eggs and sweet and sour chicken. We ate in t Chinese style but without chopsticks, but they all loved it. At the end, I encouraged them to keep on doing great work and that they have everything to achieve great things in their lives. They helped with the cleaning up, while I took Lemar´t back to his room. I already felt really sad when I dropped him off with the tías, feeling that I wouldn´t be able to see him for a long time.
The tías from kinder, tía Maria and tía Gadita, knocked on my door later in the night, and asked for my email address and thanked me for all the work I had done. I also thanked them for their collaboration all year. I was surprised to see that tía Maria had tears in her eyes! We chatted about the positive changes the children had and all of them are growing up and well. Indeed, all of them had changed and grown so much! Everyone had been saying so many nice words thanking me for the work that I had done for the kids, while the kids would ask me not to leave or say that Lemar´t would miss me so much. All year of feeling unappreciated suddenly made me realize that it wasn´t true.