Wednesday morning came way too early so that we could get to the university and practice for a little bit before. Nervous would be the understatement of the year. When we were waiting in one of the classrooms the students from the schools started to get there. We knew some kids from Omar Torrijos were coming, but we didn't really know what they were doing or anything. Then Juana popped her head in the door and screamed (this would not surprise you if you knew her, she's a riot) and I screamed and then we both cried. Of course. I couldn't believe she was there! And then Hillary and Narichel came running into the room and jumped all over me. It was the most perfect surprise ever! I just cried and cried I was so happy. Hillary dances traditional Panamanian dance and Narichel is Kuna, so they were both dressed up and beautiful!
The presentation itself was a thousand times better than I honestly expected it to go. All morning Joanna and I listened to Our God to remind ourselves that He is greater and stronger and it got us fired up to do this and trust that God would pull through for us. And that He did. At the end, Sarah and I shared things that we had learned. They laughed when we said something funny and agreed with us and nodded their heads. It was awesome because they truly understood exactly what we were saying without confusion or miscommunication. We made a slideshow for the end and all got really teary when we watched it. It's amazing to see how far we've come since we first stepped off the plane. Everyone was crying and telling us how proud they were of us. We needed that. I needed that. I need words of affirmation like I need air, and the whole time the dean (who we absolutely positively LOVE) sat right in front of me nodding her head and smiling and mouthing all kinds of words of encouragement throughout the whole presentation. I am so thankful for her.
Unfortunately, Juana, Hillary, and Narichel coming meant saying goodbye again, and this time was much worse than the first. The girls would not stop crying and begging me to stay and asking if they can come to Georgia with me. I was a mess. I am amazed at how quickly these kids found such a significant place in my heart. I love them so much and I wanted so badly to tell them I would be back soon but that's a lie. I had no words. They just wrapped their little arms around my neck and held on for dear life. They took a piece of my heart with them when they walked out that door.