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i-ACT21 Day 12: It’s Never Really Goodbye to Family

The “Good” in “Good-bye”

By Felicia Lee

The heat makes me lethargic today, or perhaps it is the sadness I feel from leaving Little Ripples and the assessment team members whom I have gotten to know over the last week. Sara-Christine and I wrapped up our training this morning and ended with an informal ceremony, during which we handed each assessor a certificate and a backpack complete with assessment gear. After playing with a handful of Little Ripples students for awhile, Gabe, Tobi, Sara-Christine, and I headed back to the UNHCR compound — home for the past 5 nights — to pack for our mini-journey to Goz Beida.

It was difficult saying good-bye to all the people I’ve grown to love and now consider my friends. I was very moved when one of the assessors, in expressing his gratitude for the training, told Sara-Christine and me that he sees us as family now, “with the same mother and father.” Really, it was all I could do to stop my eyes from leaking. The very fact that we are leaving, however, means that we have placed well-deserved trust in a group of 12 men and women: trust that these men and women can, and will, carry out highly-skilled and necessary assessments on their own.

The upbeat music that the UNHCR driver played on our ride away from Koukou and to Goz Beida helped to keep my spirits upbeat, as did the hope that I will see my new friends again someday.

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See You Soon, Goz Amer. On to Djabal

By Gabriel Stauring