Monday, July 21, 2008

One I will miss

At camp there was an 8-yr-old named Angelica. I’m not going to lie, she was a little obnoxious. But for some reason she made an impression on me.

She always showed up and followed us around. It didn’t matter which group we were supposed to be meeting with, she was there. But she was always interested in an activity other than the one we were offering. If we were singing, she wanted to draw. If we were playing Frisbee, she was asking for the Uno cards. And she wasn’t going to take No for an answer.

When we did face-painting, she always wanted to be a cat. And we had conversations consisting entirely of “meows.”

The day before the session ended was a stressful one, especially for the younger kids. Everyone had to pack up all their things and put them somewhere. Even those who were staying for another session had to do this, as they were being moved to other groups.

We comforted many a child who came to us sobbing about his/her friends leaving, or about not receiving a present, or another such matter.

I was supervising the crafts table alone when I heard the sound of sobbing coming from outside. I turned to see Angelica coming towards me, crying hysterically, and with a stream of blood running down her chin. Uh-oh. Where had an innocent ping-pong match gone wrong? As far as I could understand, it was something with her tooth. I started asking the other kids if the infirmary was open. Just then, a passing counselor stopped, took a look, and said, “Oh, you’re just losing a baby tooth. Go rinse your mouth out.” Whew. Once we did some rinsing, Angelica was still convinced she was dying, so I escorted her to her counselor, who would deal with it further.

The next day, as she left to go home, Angelica was all smiles, minus one tooth.

And then as we got to know the new kids, I realized that I missed a certain 8-yr-old very much!


  1. She's cute - it is so nice you had patience for her.

  2. I will never forget back in the late 90's when I was in St. Pete. Wherever I'd go I'd see one or two kids either drunk or begging for money. Is it still the same over there?

    Dysfunctional families (and kids) are far more prevalent over there.

  3. I think sometimes I have too much patience. :)

    Vitali, there are still plenty of drunk/stoned youth hanging around. One approached me in the metro the other day asking for money. There is sort of a city "beautification" thing going on, so I think the authorities are trying to crack down on the begging, but no big changes.

    Judging from the number of kids in orphanages, and the fact that 90% of them have at least one living parent, I'd say there are some dysfunctional families. Ironically, 2008 is "Year of the Family," whatever that means. There are pretty posters showing up around town.


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