Welcome Emerge Mentors!
I was desperately looking for a map. I worried endlessly about finding the venue, wondered whether I should take my car or take a bus, and yes, even went to google maps to locate the place. Then I realized I was not really worried about getting lost in this city that I have spent half my life in. It was more to do with the fact that I was apprehensive about my first day on the mentorship program. Would I be able to help, would I be adequate, would the kids like me, would I know what to say, what to do, would I cry or laugh in the wrong places. When I finally arrived at the place and saw the faces of those 20 kids my heart understood that this was not about me. Not about proving myself, but about reaching out to them. And what a group of lovelies to reach out to. Their smiles were so genuine, their acceptance of a group of new comers (as nervous as I was, I am sure) was so unhesitating and sincere, I found tears threatening to surface for reasons I had not imagined. For a couple of hours that Saturday morning, I left it all behind, my own world crammed with its daily concerns, deadlines, scripts to be graded, my soon-to-be submitted doctoral thesis , my own heartaches. Instead I was a child again, playing games, passing a blue knitted hat, impersonating an annoyed passenger on a private bus when the music stopped. I was a child, guessing names of other children I had barely met, but who held my hand as though they had been doing it all their lives. I was a girl, exchanging opinions about colours and earrings and nose-piercing. I know that reality, both within that house, among those girls, as well as outside, when I returned to my world again, was merely suspended, waiting to pounce, but on that morning, something beautiful was happening. Friendships were being born, eyes were lighting up, songs were being sung, connections being found and smiles exchanged. The girls danced.
New life stories were waiting to be written. And I no longer felt like I needed a map.
Thank you to all of our new mentors for making a difference in the lives of the girls we serve and care so deeply about. Welcome to the Emerge family.