Updated: May 3
Ahhhhhh a relaxing day at the beach, just what the doctor ordered. After an amazing week full of spreading love and movement to the wonderful kids of Panama we were all excited to have this day to relax, reflect, and bond over all that we had experienced this week. Upon arriving to the island of Taboga, I was in awe of of how beautiful it was. The scenery was breathtaking, a sight you would never be able to see in the states. We eventually made it down to the water and set up our towels. It was nice to just lay out and take it all in, the smells, the sounds, the sun. It was also fun wading in the water with everyone. Today made me realize how close I have become to these girls. At the beginning of the week I felt like I only knew two of them and now I feel so much closer to each person! The beach was a perfect time to continue the bonding experience just in a different atmosphere than we had been all week. I had a fun time reminiscing everyone about the fun times we had in the classes we taught this week and the sweet kids we met. For lunch we went to a cute little “islander” hut! I got a fish fillet because I’m on an island in Panama, did I really have a choice? Sadly after lunch it was back to the beach for a few last pictures and then back to the hostel for our last night together. I’m mentally preparing myself for our last round of reflections and meal together. I’m really not ready for it all to be over. It went by way too fast.
I love the fact that through this exchange trip not only do we get to work with these kids and share our love of dance with them but also have the chance to experience a different culture than our own. I had SO much fun finally being immersed in a Spanish speaking culture and getting to practice my Spanish! It amazes me how different but beautiful it is. It’s also so fun to interact with the people of this culture and think wow, this isn't a trip for them, this is their everyday. Looking back on this week my heart is so full. My heart belongs in mission work and I can’t wait to continue trips like this so that I can keep being a light and spreading love to kids just like these all over the world.
AnnMarie Aulbach (WMU Dance Diplomat)