I always have such mixed emotions about leaving. I’m anxious to get home and be with my family and all that is familiar. When I leave my students my heart is pulled and wants to stay. There are things that are hard in a foreign land with food, beds, language, and customs that make me appreciate home. I have to say that I am grateful I get taken care of so well while I am here. My assistant picked me up promptly at 10:30. She wanted to make sure I was all packed, had my passport and scoured the room for items left behind.The scheduled driver picked us up at 11:00. Grace showed up as well with a gift and a strange fruit drink. It tasted like custard in a cup topped with fruit cocktail and red beans. “You must eat your skim milk drink it will be good for you.” So, I ate it. It wasn’t bad, just a little strange mix of flavors.
Upon arriving at the airport in Zhengzhou all went well until I got to the security check point. The students walked right by my side up to that point (it’s a good thing). The security person looked at me , my ticket, and my passport, handed it back to me and spoke to me in an urgent Chinese language. Felicia looked panicked and said “Oh no that is not possible she has to get home.” Now I was panicked and wondered what had just taken place. She informed me that my ticket would only get me to Shanghai and I would not be able to go to LAX. Grace took my ticket and passport and ran to the ticket office and jumped in front of the others in line. As she was at one counter Felicia was at another. I just stood there wondering what would happen next and glad I had someone to speak for me. She came back saying it would be okay they just misunderstood at the security that I was getting on another flight in Shanghai to LAX. It was certainly a good way to get our adrenalin rush for the day. Crying again,(seems to be my most common emotion) not knowing when we will see each other again, we said our good byes. Sometimes I think this gets harder on me every time I come. I never sleep well, or eat well and it plays with my emotions. That is my excuse.
I spent my last two days interviewing office staff members and members who want to be office staff next year. It has brought me a lot of joy and appreciation for what the students do. The WAFW is basically run by the students. We as facilitators go teach for 5 weeks and leave, they run the office. It’s quite impressive. There is a director, office manager, logistics manager, marketing, translation department , projects leader and men’s academy leader. Interviewing them finding out what inspired them and what they learned on their jobs was insightful for me. The young man who was the men’s academy leader said his goal was to “make women’s voice to be heard all over the world.” The translation director said “I learned team building and how to communicate my expectations more clearly and to make others feel valued.” This is the caliber of students we have running the show. I truly do love them.
I was also able to surprise the evening class and show up to teach the last hour. They were excited to see me and I was too. I love seeing their growth in the past 7 months. They start out so young, shy and quiet. In class they stood and shared openly what the legacy is they want to leave behind. All of their comments had to do with some kind of service to others and what they wanted to be known for was making an impact on people for good. It has made me think about what legacy I want to leave as well. I know the original statement on my vision board said ” I will empower women to take a stand for themselves, have a voice and make a difference in the world.” I would like to add to that and say ” I empower men and women all over the globe awakening to their divine self discovering the gifts they are given and help them find places and ways to express them.” What legacy do you want to leave?