I still have to blog about my safari and other travels and such, but I don’t want to stop writing about my day to day life while I’m working on them. I just wanted to share a little story about something cute my favorite student said.
My favorite student is named Ohemaa, my “mini-me” (she reminds me SO much of myself when I was her age, except she’s a thousand times sweeter and more thoughtful than I ever was). She’s my favorite! She gives me so much love and affection and always says the sweetest, most encouraging things. She has written me countless notes and drawn me dozens of pictures. When asked who my favorite person in all of Ghana is, the person I’ll miss the most when I’m gone, I answer Ohemaa, because it’s true. I feel like I know her so well, because all her fears and insecurities were once my fears and insecurities, and her strengths, likes, passions, and needs were once mine, too.
Today at snack break she wanted to tell me something. “Miss Kate, sometimes, when I’m alone and I’m thinking about you, I think that you...” she noticed Asabea was listening, so she said, “Come with me to the storeroom. I don’t want anyone to hear.”
As she pulled me into the storeroom, I wondered what she was going to say. She doesn’t always have the best self-esteem and sometimes puts herself down or tells me that everyone hates her, which is ridiculous because she’s the sweetest girl in Class 4 and is friends with everyone. I think sometimes she says these things because she needs me to reassure her that it’s not true, that she is smart and beautiful, and that everyone else and I love her. I understand her need for reassurance because I have the exact same need. Taking care of Ohemaa, having to reassure her every day that she is beautiful and loved, has made me realize what an enormous task it would be for a man to love and to take care of me (and so far, I have never found a man who was up to the challenge and capable of giving me the reassurance I need, which is why I’ve been single for the past 23 years or so).
I thought perhaps Ohemaa would say something like she thinks that I don’t love her or something ridiculous like that just to hear me tell her otherwise. Earlier in the day she had been upset because she didn’t do as well on her exams as she had hoped, so I began preparing my response in my head, something to reassure her that she is still very smart and talented even though her grades weren’t the best. What she had to tell me came absolutely as a surprise.
Ohemaa’s beautiful brown eyes looked up into mine. “Miss Kate,” she said a bit shyly, “sometimes, when I’m at home and I’m thinking about you... I think that you must be an angel.”
AW! How precious! I couldn’t say anything at first. All I could do was hug her tightly and kiss the top of her head. She’s so affectionate, sincere, empathetic, innocent, and sweet, and I just love her so much.
Finally, I said, “Ohemaa, darling, sometimes I think the same thing about you.”