It finally hit me. I wasn’t in New York City anymore, but in fact I was with my fellow Pan Flute Teens in Lima, Peru. Our program Global Teens always said that this trip wasn’t going to be a vacation and they were right. It wasn’t a vacation, but instead it was something greater. Playing with the children in the orphanage in Pueblo Libre, I realized that the most important thing was to put a smile on their little faces. That is what we tried to do for the next few days. It worked out well because each one of us had at least one or two kids following us. I had a really shy, three year old little boy. He told me his name was Jaret and he wanted to play with the bouncy ball. To make him smile, I played catch with him using the yellow, barney-decorated, bouncy ball. Nothing could have been better than being there with him tossing around the ball.
Dyesha, Richard, and Katherine lead all 18 of us to the orphanage for the next few days. I don’t know how it happened so quickly, but the last day at the orphanage I cried. This part of the trip was over, but I didn’t want it to be. I loved going to the orphanage and playing with the kids and Jaret. I never knew I could get attached so quickly to children that I barely knew. All I knew was that I loved playing games with them and making them smile. This part of the trip allowed me to see something I wouldn’t have been able to see in New York or maybe not in this way. I knew I loved children but I didn’t know how special it could be spending only a little bit of time with them. Jaret, in his own way, showed me this. He would make me follow him around, while I cheered him on every time he could continuously keep bouncing the ball in a row while counting. I have been to Peru before this, but this was one of the most moving trips I ever had and I got to share that with my new family, the Pan-Flute Teens.
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