25 July, 2007

What better friends that 'Peace Friends'

One of the students mentioned to me that she really feels comfortable with everyone and she is really happy. I knew her birthday was on the 24th so some of us went into town and I bought some 'fimo' clay and had the idea that everyone could make her a bead and we would string it onto a necklace for her. I was a nervous wreck for the past week since I took it upon myself to organize it all...Grant it, organization used to be my passion and as I have mentioned in numerous posts, it tends to rear it's ugly head now and then, BUT after arriving here, I have more or less abandoned my compulsive behavior. My side of the room is totally unorganized and I have clothes thrown all over. The strange thing is that it's really not bothering me. Is it possible to teach an old dog new tricks???

Since it was my idea for the necklace, It was only natural that I take control of the surprise project and had each student sneak into my room at different times to make their bead. We also had a barbecue one day that week and since we have Andi's car (and she still can't drive) I took a group into town to buy all the food, help organize the cookout logistics and then had to collect the money from everyone since I initially paid for the food and on top of that I was trying to keep the beads a secret. Stress was introduced once again into my life and I was not handling it very well. I had more than one person ask me if I was okay because I seemed a little 'out of sorts'.

Me and Nev busily working the grill.



Setting up and mingling before the feast.

Everyone enjoying the meal.

The night before her birthday, we were all feeling so low because no one had mentioned her birthday to her because we had an additional plan in mind. We had decided to wake her at 12 AM and sing happy birthday to her. As Nev walked around that evening, I could feel her disappointment about no one even mentioning her upcoming birthday; it was really hard to keep my mouth shut!

She couldn't sleep so she went into the computer room around 11:30 and at the stroke of Midnight 20 of us marched into the computer room each with a big candle singing 'Happy Birthday'. She was so surprised and it was hard not to cry with the emotions being transferred to one another. She promptly said eveyone must go down to the 'basement' bar area and have a toast, which we did! She did comment later that she really had not realized until much later that she had her PJ's on! The next day 2 of us decorated the doorway to her room so she encountered balloons and streamers as she left for breakfast. At lunch we presented her with the necklace and a birthday cake and she started to cry with happiness; which of course many followed suit. It really is such a close fun group this year and I do believe that it may be a little hard for me to say goodbye to many of them...

Midnight toast for more b-days to come.

The bead 'peace' necklace.

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