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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Monday Blues

Monday was a blue day - blue muumuu, blue headband, blue comb. A group of 4th graders even provided commentary on my outfit while standing in the doorway of the teachers' room; I was making copies when I heard, "Wow Teacher Emily, even your eyes match today!"

But the 'Monday Blues' were only present in physical attire. The day started off with a quick Skype call to my parents and grandparents, who were celebrating Mother's Day together. I can't put into words how excited I am to see my family next month. At school we celebrated my student Aja's birthday with donuts and juice. Aja, myself, and her pals went around the school passing out extra donuts to the other teachers after every 1st grader was happily munching and slurping. I love surprising people with food - particularly baked goods - because a surprise treat never fails to put a smile on any face.

My students danced to Justin Timberlake's new song, Can't Stop the Feeling, while cleaning the classroom after school.

I picked a plumeria flower for my hair as I walked home at 5. Plumeria trees are in full bloom and without thinking I scan the ground to see which fallen flowers I can use. I pray for 5 people - one for each petal - before placing it behind my ear or tucking it into my bun.

This evening after Nicole and I ran errands we stopped by Principal Bernie's house to see if we could pick some calamansi lemons. Before I knew it I had hauled out the school's old ladder and was climbing up its silver rungs. I grabbed two before some men passing by on the road stopped to help. A foreigner in a muumuu climbing a ladder near a busy road to pick calamansi practically guaranteed that help would be offered immediately. A young man happily took my place, climbed up the ladder and into the tree, and picked our calamansi. He was much more skilled for the job than I and I'm grateful to live in a place where not only do you greet everyone you see on the road, but strangers help you without a second thought.

After dropping the priests' car at their house I grabbed a sliver of fresh Kosraen pie brought back from Kosrae by one of the Sisters. I ate and walked back to the apartment feeling very content - happy to be back in a normal rhythm after a few weeks of unique scheduling yet all the while knowing that this is my last 'normal' week before finals and the whirlwind of graduations and endings coming far too quickly.

While messaging a friend today I told her, "transitions that involve moving away from a life you've built and people you love is hard." That pretty much sums it up - I have built a life here. I haven't been on a mission trip or just been a volunteer - I've lived my life, I've made friends, I've found a church home. I have favorite restaurants and favorite places and favorite people. Life isn't perfect, but life never will be and I've found contentment in a lifestyle I truly love here. It is precisely because I have been living my life in a wild, glorious, simple way that makes leaving so bittersweet.

I'm soaking in the joys of Pohnpei for 20-something more days before I touch down in good old Sacramento, CA on June 8th!

My goal for today is to live simply and love deeply. I hope you will join me.

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