Afterthoughts: Shine on, bright Bahamian stars!

Sometimes, when you think you need a hand,

you really only need a hand.

The world may stare in shocked silence

at the atrocity of life;

but those brave souls who reach out,

they are blessed with a gift

that cannot be taken away.

The light of God is ever-burning

in the bravest of souls

Many are blessed, but few profess.

Keep singing of pride

of unity and courage,

and the rest of the world will hear you,

 

 

Thank you to everyone at Rollins and ECC for giving me faith, strength and courage in the face of adverse circumstance.

 

www.everychildcountsabaco.org

Two Poems by ECC Student Deondra Nesbitt

Some of you got a copy of these wonderful poems, but just in case, I’d like to post them here: (I did my best to keep it exactly how she wrote them, but put it into lines to make them easier to read)

Best of Friends

The best of friends

can change a frown

into a smile

when you feel down

The best of friends

will understand

your little trials

and lend a hand.

The best of friends

will always share

your secret dreams

because they care.

The best of friends worth more than gold,

give all the love a heart can hold.

 

A Friend Most True

I need to know if your (sic) my true friend. Will you be with me til the end?

Can I tell you my secrets so deep, and trust that in your heart they will sleep?

I be your shoulder to cry on when you are blue,

will you be there for me when I need you?

No matter how busy I will make time for you

if you promise to have time for me too

 

editor’s note: This struck an even deeper chord when I read it again today. Particularly the second poem… What a true and honest sentiment and I hope that all of us from Rollins can maintain such a friendship with each other and with the people we connected with in Abaco. One love.

MUSIC

music has never meant anything different to me before. It has always been the center of my life and has always been my main drive. But being with the ECC kids does something totally different to what a lot of things mean. Sometimes you just have to let love flow from where it is not expected and definitions begin to change right in front of you.

Ode to ASB 2012

How can I possibly get out of bed

when I know that it’s only to leave?

 

With my heart on my sleeve

and a song in my head,

with so much more to believe.

 

Seven days of my life

may as well have been years

for all the change I have seen.

 

We conquered our fears,

fought with laughter and tears –

the disenfranchised old us are all gone.

 

In love and in service, march on.

 

 

One End always Opens a New Door

March 9
With all the hard work and dedication students and faculty of both Rollins and ECC the performance was up and running. Everyone was having so much fun until the choir took their places and sang like angels. Terniel took the mic for his solo in “Lean on Me” with the beginning lyrics “Swallow your pride”. His smile, voice, strength and just all of who he is touched me most in that moment. It was so pure and so honest I couldn’t hold back my bittersweet tears. I am so proud of him and in this short week I fell I have watched him grow. I have watched all these children grow as they have watched me grow just the same or more so. They have taught me many things about love, friendship, hard work,and just being yourself. I hope I have touched at least one of these children as much as they all have touched my heart. They will always be in my heart and I have brought a piece of each of them home with me. From Quay’s swaggy attitude to Carlos’ five second stares then walking away. That moment when Carlos took a picture with me and went beyond his comfort zone to pose with me just showed how much we touched them.
The relationships I have made with the ECC students and my new friends at Rollins will forever have a special place in my heart.They are like no other. Words cannot express fully how I feel.
I want to thank and give Kudos to all my fellow Rollins classmates and Facilitators for all your hard work and energy. It was amazing. I couldn’t think of better people to spend this experience with or even anything better to do over spring break. It truly was an honor and I can’t wait for next year!
In the words of the great Bob Marley “One love, one heart. Let’s get together and feel alright”. <3

Gorgeous, Delicious, Tired. And Wet.

There’s usually a pretty substantial delay before a parting hits me emotionally. I guess it just takes a while to set in that I won’t see someone or experience something again. Yet now, I’m already missing my time at ECC and the wonderful students I met there. Images of their smiles, laughter, and the looks of concentration and interest on their faces as they worked with us keep popping into my head. I think it may be the realization of the impact we’ve had that propels this feeling sadness in me. In the past when a friend has moved away, or after high school graduation, I haven’t really thought about the impact they have had on my life and me on theirs. So I don’t feel as sad right away, not until I have the urge to hang out with them but can’t. Today, however, I’ve seen countless reminders of how much the kids learned from us, and how much we learned from them.

The goodbyes were bittersweet, but the remainder of my day was amazing. I got a chance to really experience the ocean for the first time in my memory. Not just to wade along the beach but to swim out into the waves. I don’t go to the beach much for a Rollins student. I also saw a sight I’d only seen in pictures and movies: waves crashing against a rocky shoreline. This was by Pete’s Pub, and it was incredibly beautiful. It was accompanied by the clearest sky full of stars I’ve ever seen. And the fried snapper was amazing. And I stood too close to the shoreline and got soaked when a huge wave hit and washed over the rocks. Totally worth it though.

Final Thoughts (I thought of the title before Brandon, he actually stole it from me)

After thinking about the trip tonight I have a few things that I would like to say as we conclude such an incredible week. First off, I never thought in a million years that I would come away from this journey with the bonds and friendships that this immersion has given me. Whether it would be the way Brandon and I competed against each other verbally all day every day, or the chemistry my group had in creating the video projects, or whether providing entertainment for everyone for my infamous “mosquito bites,” each and everyone of you has impacted me in a very special way and I would just like to take this blog to thank everyone for the best spring break I have ever had. All of you are great people and there is no doubt in my mind you all will do great things in this world just like this week. I really look up to all of you and I hope I made somewhat of an impact on you guys as well. I would just like to conclude that if any of you need ANYTHING in the future, you can always ask. My cell phone number is 617 872 2278. You guys are effing awesome  and i am really glad I was here to experience all of this with you so thank you guys again.

P.S.- I plan on hosting the final “debrief” tomorrow at my house. Chuck, Carrie, and Mere, as much as I want you there I do not feel like that would be very appropriate but still know that we would all like you to be there to celebrate the end of this trip. Lastly, thank you three for making this trip what it was. Obviously, this trip would not have been possible without you guys so thank you for welcoming me with open arms.

One Love, One Heart

We just got back from dinner at Pete’s Pub, a restaurant which is owned by a Rollins Alumni. The pub had a pier, which lead to the beach and since we were in the middle of nowhere, the starry sky was unblemished. It was just about the most breath-taking sight I had ever seen and I couldn’t help but think about all the unbelievable things I have experienced during this trip and the remarkable people I have met.

Today was our last day at ECC and my emotions have gone haywire. Leaving the school was so depressing and full of tears from a few of the children and from us. As I was hugging the students and saying goodbye, I departed with an “I’ll see you later”, even though I wasn’t sure if I would ever see these students again. I can only dream of being able to come back to Abaco and working with the students at ECC more. I feel such an emotional connection with them and I just want to help them out more and more, as much as I can. I know none of us will ever forget this outstanding experience full of friends, love, and service.

Success is not a spontaneous combustion

Today was an emotionally exhausting day. I didn’t expect to be as elated as I was to see our students get so excited to show off their movies. We had a projecting screen all set up and our movies were well received. Movie making is satisfying in that way. For me, it’s a for sure process that follows a strict yet vague algorithm…You know you’re doing it right when your audience loves it.

It was hard to say goodbye, as I’m sure many other students will say as well. I made sure to let the students know their future was always bright if they committed to hard work.

Despite our tears and hard goodbyes, the ECC and Rollins students have temporarily parted ways until the next great adventure!