Before I go any further, I want to talk about one of the most heartwarming experiences of my life. My time with the children of the Lorato House of Love
The first time I was in Botswana, the Lorato House was very new. In fact, it received its operational license Thanksgiving Day, 2009. As time went on, a few more children arrived and I was spoiled enough to be able to spend my free time over there, playing with and caring for the babies. I completely fell head over heels in love with one of the kiddos in particular (name withheld for privacy reasons- same reason there are no pictures). I knew when I was heading back to LBOM that this little guy was still there. I was SO excited to see him again, and kind of foolishly hoped that against all odds, this not-even-3-year-old would somehow remember me.
A few days before I arrived, the first baby was adopted from the Lorato House, which was so exciting. However, my little guy is smart. When I arrived at the house my first day back, a few of my friends from the mission were with me. Little K (as he will now be called) seemed to remember that the last time a large group of people came, one of the kids left. So while all the other children were just excited to have people there and they came running to us, he turned and ran the other way, crying. Not really the reaction I was hoping for...but oh well.
The next morning, all of the little squirts were on their daily walk. They always came down to the Lackey circle, where I was staying with Ms Pat. I could hear them coming, so I went outside to greet them. Little K was feeling braver today, so he came running over to me with a big smile on his face. I picked him up and held him on my hip while he and I chatted away. He said something that made me laugh, and when I did, his eyes got huge and focused on my mouth. He put his fingers to my mouth, then to his, and all of a sudden said "Atch-y" He remembered me!! Full disclosure: I totally cried when he did that.
The rest of my time there, every time I went to the Lorato House or caught the kids on their walk, Little K would see me, drop whatever he was doing, yell "Atch-y's here!" to the other kids and come running to me.
So, no, it wasn't difficult at all to say goodbye after this trip...