How long is five months?
The other day, my 11-year-old brother chatted with me on AIM using our mom’s screen name. He doesn’t know if he can wait five months and a few weeks to see me! Five months seems like FOREVER!
Some of my students, however, feel differently. I found myself surrounded by some of my girls, and they brought up that dreaded topic.
“Miss Kate, how long will you stay in Ghana?” said Makeba.
“I’ll be here for as long as you’re in class 4. When you go to class 5, it will be time for me to leave,” I said. “I’m going back to America in July.”
“When will you come back to Ghana again?” little Nana Ama asked.
“I don’t know,” I said truthfully.
I didn’t expect the response I received. They started crying.
“No, Miss Kate! Please don’t go back! Please stay in Ghana and be our teacher next year!” Ohemaa whined.
“I’m not leaving for a long time! I’ll be here for more than five months. That’s such a long time!”
“No, it’s not a long time for me!” she cried, wrapping her arms around my waist. “Please, stay for twenty more months!”
“Miss Kate, I want you to stay for a hundred months!” said Nana Ama.
“I want you to stay and don’t leave for one thousand months!” Maame said, and there were actually tears on her cheeks!
But there were tears on my little brother’s cheeks, too, for the few weeks before I left for Ghana. He hugged me and begged me not to go. He asked why I wanted to leave him. Oh, of course I didn’t want to leave him! It was just time for me to move on to my next adventure. I kissed his cheeks and promised him I’d be back in 9 months.
“I’ll be your teacher for the rest of the time you’re in class 4,” I promised the girls. But when July 27th comes and I have to say goodbye, I won’t be able to assure my students that I’ll see them again soon. I don’t know when I’m coming back to Ghana, if ever. I don’t know if I’ll ever see them again.
Oh, it’s just too sad to think about! I really can’t wait to go home to see my family and friends and to enjoy the comforts a developed country has to offer, but I don’t even want to think about saying goodbye yet!