Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Final Leg

My last few months in village were a whirlwind and as I take a few minutes out of my current Italian vacation to reflect on it and finally write this last blog post I want to start by expressing my gratitude for all of you who have followed and supported me on this amazing adventure.

I didn't get a chance to blog about the Bathroom Restoration Project  and wanted to update you all and give a special thanks to all who contributed to it.   The goal was to help restore the poorly constructed bathrooms located at the school while incorporating lessons about sanitation and health. Fellow Volunteer Cara Steger partnered with me on this project as we created health groups at both of our elementary schools. We started back in November and tried to meet regularly with the students to talk about different illnessess, diseases, and preventative methods. As I have mentioned before, behavoir change is the most difficult but essential task in creating change in at risk and poor communities. This was one of my favorite programs as I got to spend a lot of time dancing with the kids and making new friends. Here are some photos, thanks again for everyone who donated to the cause.
Guest Geoff talking about Deforestation 

The CM1 class with their bars of soap

CM2 class in front of the new bathrooms

Boys can clean too!

My last month in village was difficult as it was hard to say goodbye and prepare myself to leave. The hardest part was saying goodbye to the children, particulary those who i lived with and the older grandma and grandpa's who I am certain I will never see again. I made an attempt to appreciate all the things I really enjoy about the community and culture and as I did so I was brought to tears many times. One of my favorite things about leaving is to part in peace. I went around to every house hold and thanked them, asked for forgivness and gave mine.  It was good to know that even though I had wronged others or been wronged it was forgotten and let go.  I received blessings and love for my travel and was given the left hand. This is a huge deal as it's the hand you never shake with because it's the hand you use while in the toilet. When giving your left hand upon leaving it is a great sign of respect.   The last person I said goodbye to was my host mother and sister (best friend). It was an emotional goodbye and I spent the next 8km on my bike sobbing as I left Koulinto for the last time.

There are so many things I would like to share and it's been a little difficult to process everything I feel. I invested so much of myself in this life and to all of a sudden be gone feels almost like it was all a dream.  I learned some very powerful lessons and I am sure more will unveil themselves with time.

This is the last blog I will post on this page, but I do want to let you know that I have started a new webiste/ blog site. I am very excited about it and  hope you will take some time to check it out.  I will be posting regularly about topics regarding yoga, wellness, philosophy, travel, world cusine, and of course photos.   Check it out:   The Enigmatic Path
Thank you again for supporting me on this journey. I have enjoyed your responses and look forward to connecting with some of you very soon.

Peace Only

Jenae <3

On the road leaving village

Last sunset