Today I wrote a lot of thank you notes. Thank you’s for the teacher I’ve been with the past 8 weeks; thank you’s to the people who have invited me on field trips; thank you’s to the lunch room staff for feeding me almost every day; thank you’s to the other English teachers for allowing me to visit with their classrooms; thank you’s to anyone who has given me a gift while I’ve been here; thank you’s to my family for being so generous, caring, welcoming and awesome; thank you’s to the cheerleading coach for allowing me to help him; thank you’s to the Director and Vice-Director of the school for allowing me this opportunity; and thank you’s to anyone else I felt like made my time in Ecuador as unbelievable as it was. However, there was one person who I felt like deserved the biggest thank you of all – my mom.
Even before I was born, my mom has done everything she is physically capable of doing to provide for me. I have always lived in a nice house, had a bedroom of the colors I wanted (even when it was the awful bright pink and orange), had plenty to eat and had everything I needed.
So, Mom, here’s a small list of thank you’s:
- Thank you for forcing me to eat everything on my plate even when I didn’t like – turns out, I’m not picky which makes living in another country much easier and more exciting.
- Thank you for sacrificing to allow me to receive a Catholic education – my foundations in academics are strong and I’m part of a select few that actually enjoy learning.
- Thank you for making me do my homework immediately after I got home after school every day, even when I begged to go play – these habits and the phrase “work hard, play hard” gets me through the days I lack motivation.
- Thank you for being a parent, first and foremost – you’ve always known when to say no and when/how to punish me so that I could learn from my mistakes.
- Thank you for being a friend – now that I’m older, our relationship is one in a million and you’re truly my best friend.
- Thank you for teaching me to be grateful – not a day goes by that I don’t think about how lucky and blessed I am for the life I have.
- Thank you for teaching me to see the good in people – you’ve always been able to look at every situation from other people’s point of views and I’ve always admired that about you (even when I want you to just be on my side of the situation!)
- Thank you for always reminding me that prayer is the most powerful thing we have and that Jesus is always there for me.
- Thank you for instilling in me that people, conversations and experiences are worth more than anything materialistic.
- Thank you for reminding me that my personal happiness should be a priority in my life.
- Thank you for passing on your love of coffee and beer. 😊
- Thank you for making me talk to people on the phone and make my own plans at a young age – my independence is all because of you.
- Thank you for changing your plans to accommodate mine – you always make me feel like a priority.
- Thank you for sacrificing your sleep, time and money to make sure the girls and I are happy, taken care of and where we are supposed to be.
- Thank you for always supporting my crazy dreams – you’ve always encouraged me, even when I call you with half-thought-through ideas.
- Thank you for always making me feel close to home even from miles and miles and miles away with a simple text or FaceTime.
The last two are extremely important. Since I’ve been teaching in Ecuador, I’ve fallen in love with teaching English. I’ve always been fascinated by other languages so, I’ve decided to officially get my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification – in Europe! I’m excited for this opportunity as it will open SO many doors for my future and it’s something I love! I’ll be leaving at the end of the summer.
Here’s where the title of this blog post comes in:
Sorry, Mom, I’ll only be home for about a month before I’m off again – I’m going to keep traveling, learning and teaching for a while! 😊
It’s time for me to go to bed…tomorrow starts my last week at Quitumbe with my students. ☹ #crying