Dec 14, 2016

What Love Looks Like


Today was the last day of class with my Somali students before winter break. I have such a faithful group of students. A student/teacher relationship grows through-out the school year and often becomes very personal. The students grow to trust you, depend on you, and show their vulnerabilities. You open yourself up to each other and often-times a great bond/attachment is formed. 

This is the case with several of my students. One student in particular, Habiba, showed her great affection for me by braving the -17 degree temperature today. Halfway through class we have a 15 minute break. In that timeframe, she bundled up and walked a block away to the Somali Market to buy me this delicious sambusa. It is a pastry filled with meat and spices. She got back to class and presented me with a warm bag. I asked her what it was. She couldn't stop smiling. She said, "For you good teacher, sambusa. Eat." I had 6 students today and they all told me, "We will wait while you eat. Enjoy." It was as if all of my students shared in the giving of this precious gift to show their deepest gratitude. I tried to share them with the class, but they would have none of that. 

I was overwhelmed and so very grateful. It is a universal human trait to give what we have (or value) to those we love and appreciate . It just so happens, my students love me enough to give me one of their favorite foods. I am honored. I have received many unique gifts and trinkets from multiple foreign countries through-out my years of teaching. But this simple, loving gesture humbled me the most.

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