“Everything you do, do it with love.” These were the genuine, sweet words from one my students I will be teaching this year. My first day of school was nothing short of amazing. I was introduced in front of over 400 students with a warm welcome and a short introduction about myself. I was excited, nervous and so humbled by how happy the students and teachers were to see me.
After my grand introduction and tour of the school, I sat in and observed my first classroom with my co-teacher. Since it was the first week of school, the students first assignment was to create a picture of a flag, which represented who they are, what they enjoy and their goals in life. Each student took turns to stand up in front of the room and to describe their flag only speaking in English. What struck me the most was the fact that all 34 students in that class had similar goals; to make their families proud, to reach high for the stars, and to go on to college. One that stood out the most and really made reflect was from one student who only had a heart on her flag and that was because no matter what she does in life, she will do it with love. As I laid in bed that night, I thought of that over and over again because not only is this a statement, it is a fact.
The next few days were absolutely amazing. Each day led to a mini adventure. I met so many great souls that will become my friends and family throughout my next ten months in this beautiful area of the world. Lake Toba is magical. To be honest, the pictures do not do any justice to how breath-taking this lake is. Everyone I have met is so open to welcoming me into their homes and to their families. My heart is so full as I sit here and reflect back on my first week in Balige. The heart-warming conversations I have had with such great people in such a wonderful area of the world pushes me to really try and do everything with love and all of my heart. I can’t wait to get back in two weeks to become more involved in the community, work with great teachers and students, and to form lifelong relationships with the people of the Batak Culture on Lake Toba.
Stay tuned for more pictures of my first week.