What will I tell them?

Here near the end of our time at The Mission I wonder what I will tell people about this experience.  Will they understand the overwhelming needs of the people here -- the orphans, the HIV/AIDS crisis, the water supply, dependable electricity? It's like explaining The Grove at OLE MISS.  You can use creative, descriptive words and even show pictures, but until you've been there, you will never really understand it until you experience it. The things I will take home with me and share with others are: *the eyes -- especially the eyes of all of the infants and toddlers, happy and sad *witnessing the anticipation from the toddlers who crave attention *hearing the sounds of laughter and squealing with delight *the feeling you have when, after hours and hours of language bombardment, your "baby" responds with a sound or utterance of some sort *the smell of fresh powder on the babies after their bath *the secrets these babies hold *the feeling of exhaustion from almost constant face-to-face therapy -- "bah, bah, bah, mah, mah, mah, dah, dah, dah..." *the mischievous grins from some of our babies *the rhythmic movements the babies make when we sing and recite nursery rhymes *experiencing our toddler's first steps  *the discovery of babbling we didn't know was there *comforting a baby suffering from an earache *the feeling of contentment knowing you have contributed something, no matter how small The things I will tell people are limitless.

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I am a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist with 36 years of experience and I am about to embark on the experience of a lifetime!

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