We had our suitcases and bins packed. We were ready to fly out of Shamattawa and start our journey back to northern Ontario. The dogs were outside our door. Joy was his usual hyper, excited self, Spotty Nibbles seemed a little concerned, and Aurora and Pirate looked through our door as we moved things out. Pirate looked up, eyebrows curled with that puppy dog lab look. They knew we were leaving...I wonder if they truly knew we would not return, or if they would forget?
Sarah and Amy biked over because they had told me they had to see me again before I left. They brought gifts that they made and things from their homes liked. They came to give hugs and insisted on staying, even at the airport. It was incredibly sweet and made my heart fill with more joy. These two girls truly appreciated what had happened the night before and it meant so much.
I gave the dogs one last pet, gave Aurora and Pirate hugs, and then they quietly walked under the bus and lay down and just stared at me, heads down on the dirt in between their paws. The girls biked to the airport and as the truck I entered started to drive away from the Units, I saw the dogs stand up. They stood in a line, watched the truck go, Aurora howled, and Pirate followed with a small howl after her (he rarely howled), before they all went back to lie down near Saeed's Unit.
Being there hands-on to help the dogs had now come to an end.
Gifts from the girls:
- pipe cleaner hearts for Spencer (black and white) and I (purple and white)
- two charms
- drawings of love and of the puppy's name
- a little story they drew about meeting me, the bonfire, and Spencer and I on a plane
- a small wall hanging that Sarah had in her room
It was an overcast day and of course the plane was delayed. The girls, as bored as they were, still refused to leave me at the airport while I waited for Spencer and his mom. We walked around outside, in many circles, on a small trail. Even after Spencer and his mom arrived and we sat inside, Sarah and Amy still refused to go...even when they admitted to being super bored and hungry. They talked to us about many things and they gave me a piece of paper that was blank:
Sarah: "This one is blank for you to draw us a picture because we didn't get to have you as a real art teacher at school."
Me: "I don't have anything to draw with here in the airport...I will try to stay in touch though and mail you two a picture!"
Amy: "We will try to keep in touch! We want a picture from you. You're our best friend and we love you."
They stayed the whole time until we were about to board the little plane. They gave me hugs, told me again that they loved me, teared up, and I told them both again that they are strong and kind and to let that shine! They waved from the ground as we took off before they rode away on their bikes. Ontario was waiting for us.
The only problem with keeping in touch is that the girls don't have email and rarely go on Facebook, and there are no personal addresses in Shamattawa. I am still trying to let them know somehow that I will mail a picture, as long as they know it will be at the post office! Hopefully it happens - I don't want to let them think I have forgotten about them!
I still have their blank piece of lined paper...