“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because
they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not
communicated with each other.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, March 29

Today was Sport’s Day! All of us went to the Galloway ECI to support the kids. I was excited for them because I had been watching them train all week. All of them were clad and shining I their team colors. The students raced to see who could count correctly and write their names the fastest. Unfortunately team yellow did not win. It seemed every child’s parent came out to cheer them on. It was a big local event. People were selling candy and water. Parents and relatives were yelling at the little athletes to run faster. It felt like a track meet to me. It was nice to get to see and play with the kids one last time before we left. I’ve really gotten close with these kids. I wish I could stay longer so I could see their progress and learn more about them. They are so remarkably smart for their age. Before we left, I hugged Ms. Johnson goodbye. She was so welcoming to me in her classroom. She impressed me with her patience and enthusiasm in the classroom. It’s hard to think she works in the classroom all day and goes to college at night.

After Sport’s Day, we went to Bluefield’s Beach again. It provided the perfect essence of peace I needed at the end of the day. We visited our bartender friend; he was happy to see us back. He is genuinely interested in what we have to say, he not interested in our business. Otherwise he wouldn’t give us free drinks. We went exploring in Bluefield’s River. It felt like I walked off a road into a rainforest. We stayed there until the sun was beginning to set. It was a nice group bonding experience after a busy and tiring week.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already Friday. This week has gone by so quickly and I feel I’ve barely had time to write in my journal- or lay down for that matter. Our group discussions have provided a lot of food for thought during our trip. At this point in the trip, I feel I’ve had a positive impact on the Petersfield community. I will never know for sure. One thing I do know is that the community members and my experience here in the village tourism program have had positive impacts on me. The Petersfield residents and our host families have welcomed us into their homes and community. In this effort, we are all being brought closer together. Amizade’s appearance and effort in Petersfield has established a kind friendship over the years. I can see it. And I hope others can too. There were some bumps in the road, but not everything goes as expected. All good things happen in good time. But I can say I am grateful to have been a part of this positive effort.