Well, it’s been a little over three months since I arrived in Bolivia and I can hardly believe that I only have a week left before I head home!

The homeward bound feeling is a bittersweet one. I am excited to see my family and friends and to start an internship at my church back home, but a heaviness weighs on my heart that I can’t shake.

It’s hard not to feel guilty for leaving NCV, four months seems like such a short time! I know that the girls and babies are used to volunteers leaving ever so often, but the end of my time here almost feels like an abandonment of the people who have become like family to me.

Despite this mild feeling of guilt, something a former volunteer said to me a few weeks ago continues to resonate in my mind. “You do more for them than you can imagine. All of the good things you have done here, all of the memories you have made with the girls and the good example you have been to them, that is what counts.” I keep repeating this in my mind and promise myself that I will come back soon.

I am so grateful for everything that I have experienced in Bolivia. Nothing can compare to hanging out with the girls and babies and Tias every day. Another one of my friends here said that Bolivia has that sort of affect on you. You just sort of fall in love with the country and the people and they stay in your heart for eternity. I have realized that her words couldn’t be truer. The girls have taught me about unconditional love; about sharing life together and not fearing the unknown. The babies have taught me about patience and continual forgiveness. The other volunteers and the Tias have taught me about trusting God and moving forward even when things seem impossibly difficult. The people who make up the family of Niños con Valor have the biggest hearts and they have helped my own heart to grow tremendously.

I am sad to be leaving in a week, but my heart is so full of happiness, excitement, and anticipation for the next leg of my life.

This is not the end; this is merely another skip of the rock on the pond water.

So until I come back, which I definitely plan to, I say “bendiciones y hasta pronto” (blessings and see you soon).