As usual, saying goodbye was harder than I thought it would be. Today we said bye to the Pnimiyat Yom kids for the last time. Therefore I want to reflect on some of my best memories of kids on the Pnimiyat Yom program.
The first day we met the Pnimiyat Yom group, I had the pleasure of meeting a little girl named Oshrit. Without even asking my name Oshrit grabbed me, gave me a big hug and said "אני אוהב אותך", which means "I love you". This is the opposite of what I had expected from the kids, Oshrit being so friendly in spite of her situation was truly empowering for me, and helped me gain the confidence to form personal connections with Oshrit and several other kids throughout the summer. Oshrit taught me a powerful message that day: even if you don't know someone it can never hurt to be friendly.
Another unforgettable experience with a Pnimiyat Yom kid happened one afternoon when I was kicking around a soccer ball. A little boy came up to me and told me I was kicking the ball wrong and that he wanted to teach me how to kick it right. He showed me that the right way to kick the ball was not with the front of my foot, but with the inside of my foot. I tried it out and the boy was right! The kick felt more powerful! He then asked me to show him how I shoot a basketball. I'd like to think I had improved his jump shot. Learning how to kick a soccer ball wasn't the only I learned that afternoon, I also learned that everyone has something they can teach, and a smart person is willing to learn from everyone.
Clearly I learned a lot of powerful lessons from the wonderful kids on Pnimiyat Yom, and hopefully they were able to learn a few things from me.