Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mi Despedida de Pancho Mateo

My last day in Pancho Mateo was the Tuesday before I left. I went in the morning to each of my student's houses and said bye to other people along the way. It was a wonderful morning sitting at people's houses and talking about the years past. I went to Miguel Angel's house last, and he sat and showed me pictures of him as a baby. We laughed alot together, and he picked on me like usual but gave me hugs. I did not cry once though. I had gone to Bienvenido's house and thought I would but did not. Bienvenido was one of my students and one of the brightest. He knew how to read from the start of the school year because he taught himself in his house. Bienvenido is extremely witty and stubborn so he definitely gave me and Johan a run for our money this year. He was a tough kid to discipline, but for some reason, I don't know, maybe God, I loved this child alot and so did Johan. I reached out to him the last few weeks I was there by taking him to the river and playing basketball with him one day. I slowly saw a change in his attitude with me, starting to talk to me and open up more. I thought I would cry when I said bye, when he walked away from me surprised and maybe upset, but I didn't.

I went back to Pancho to play basketball like always on Tuesdays, and Cakito had his soccer boys holding up signs with my name on them to greet me at the court. Then I saw a sign with balloons on it that said "We will miss ya Kendall." I told Cakito if we did not start playing, I would start crying so he picked out our team, and we started. After this, I joked around with my Tuesday basketball family and walked away for the last time with Jhoan and his brother Joel. I knew the tears were coming. I also decided to say bye to Bienvenido one more time. He started to tear up a bit, and I lost it.

I went home to shower and had to go back to Pancho to have my goodbye dinner. My brothers' (Jhoan, Joel, and Jovanny) family cooked me a Mexican dinner. Tacos, guacamole, salsa, all the works. They knew my favorite food is Mexican so they went all out to say goodbye. After, we sat around, talked, laughed alot at Joel, and took pictures. When some of the family went to bed, I asked my five Pancho brothers to sit and talk with me. I read them a letter and gave them pictures that we had taken throughout the years. We sat in silence, smiled, but mostly cried. Cakito prayed for me, and then they drove me home. Miss you my dear brothers :) We had a great few years, and I will never forget them nor you!

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