After about a half hour of reading with all of the girls, they asked me if I wanted to play a game with them and the other kids on the playground. I laughed and of course said yes. Two of the girls grabbed my hand and pulled me over to the half basketball court. I was instantly swarmed by all of the kids in the courtyard–imagine tall 5’11” Quinn surrounded by 20 little kids.
They explained to me in Spanish the game we were about to play. It was a relay race from the free throw line to the end of the court, under the ripped up volleyball net and back. I knew that the hardest part for me would be to duck under the net, while the little ones would have no problem.
We split up into two lines and Caira jumped in to join in the game. We ran around for 15 minutes or so. I was sweating but having a great time.
There seemed to be no real end to the game or winner, just a fun way to get some exercise and laugh. The teacher called them in and it was time to go back to class. All of the kids said bye, the girls I read with gave me big hugs and then Anna Marie came up to me and held onto my legs.
I picked her up for a big hug and told her I was so happy we met. As she held onto my neck, she told me that she was happy she made a new friend and asked if I would come back to play with her again. I promised her I would and we gave each other another hug. I held back the tears as I waved goodbye and she looked back and waved to me one last time before walking through her classroom door. I knew the next day I could possibly be leaving San Juan del Sur for a while to an unknown destination for an unknown amount of time, but I made a promise to Anna Marie so I knew no matter where we ended up, I would be back.
Had we found our cause to give back to? At that moment I was almost sure. But we had another school to go to that day and this time I’d be helping the kids with arts and crafts in the classrooms. I couldn’t wait.