A Letter of Gratitude and Thanks

My dear Panamanian kiddos,

You may never see this post but in my heart I know that you felt the mutual connection from the wonderful past few days. It’s incredible how in less than a week a person can have so much personal growth. I saw it in you and I saw it in myself. This trip is truly an exchange—an exchange of dance, love, laughter, and play.

I saw your eyes light up with joy and your radiant smiles as we danced and played with you. It has been my pleasure seeing you grow even over two days at Malambo and Aldea SOS. The first day was difficult—we dance ambassadors were unprepared—but we persevered and you delivered. We challenged you with Step dance and Hip-Hop, Indian and Jazz. And, each time you enthusiastically rose to challenge.

Personally, before this trip I wasn’t a very emotional person. However, when you reach your small hands for mine wanting to hold hands, cling to me like precious monkeys wanting a piggyback ride, or insist upon playing airplane I can’t say no. When you approach me with big eyes and all smiles I melt with fuzzy love. Every. Single. Time. It’s these small moments that changed me. Suddenly, I have all these feelings and emotions; I feel more human and have a greater connection to my friends and family because of this trip. I want to give you all a million hugs and kisses, tickle you until you cry tears of pure joy, play pretend games, and laugh to the end of time with you. I love you all so much and hope the best for each and every one of you. Y’all made me a better person in such a short period of time.

I’ll end with a short and sweet Thank you. I’ve gained so much from this exchange. You’re all beautiful souls. Keep dancing your hearts out.

Much love and happiness,

Sophia

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  • Wow Sophia what a powerful letter to the kids. My favorite part: “Personally, before this trip I wasn’t a very emotional person. However, when you reach your small hands for mine wanting to hold hands, cling to me like precious monkeys wanting a piggyback ride, or insist upon playing airplane I can’t say no. When you approach me with big eyes and all smiles I melt with fuzzy love. Every. Single. Time. It’s these small moments that changed me. Suddenly, I have all these feelings and emotions; I feel more human and have a greater connection to my friends and family because of this trip.”

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