Picnic

by meganjazelle

For the past four weeks, three of us interns have been teaching a group of a little over twenty IDPs (Internally Displaced People) from a major city in our country. I ended up volunteering to teach the intro level students and those who fall below the “intro” level… Honestly it’s been a little bit of a challenge, especially gaps in their ability, but it’s genuinely something I’ve been enjoying.

Usually every Fall and Spring season term we have a picnic for our students to go on, so we asked permission from our manager to see if a picnic could be planned for our morning students. He gave us the go ahead and gave us complete freedom in planning the picnic… Something I’ve dreamed about doing here!

We ordered lots of buses, found a picnic location, secured enough space for the many students we were bringing, cooked for a long time for a big group of people, and prepared some other smaller details. Fun stuff!

For us teachers and ex-pats, picnics are just another day. A really, really fun day… But for our students, it meant getting out (in some of my students cases, their first time out of our city). I had one student come up and say “Thank you so much for this fantastic day. For one day we could escape and forget everything…”

Escape and forget. How heartbreaking… But this is their reality. My students, my friends, have lost everything…

So… For our one day we ate lots and lots of food…

We danced on our bus, in the creek, and in the shallow part of the river…

We started a major water fight, splashed around, and -the men- went swimming…

We drank tea, talked, laughed, and enjoyed fellowship.

It was a beautiful day in the midst of sweet, sweet company.

Please remember the country here and remember it’s people. Pr-y for peace. And that maybe my friends will be able to return to their homes someday…

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