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Walking the Line

Today the entire Achuzat Sarah went to the amusement park Super Land. The kids were extremely excited and the volunteers were prepared for a day of long lines and roller coaster rides. As soon as we got to the park, my campers were running toward the rides. As I was waiting with my campers on line, we struck up a conversation with the people behind us. They asked us where we were from. One of my campers, Michal, explained that we were all from the "panimia," or orphanage. One of the girls on line was confused, and kept asking questions. Again, Michal asserted that we were from the panimia. I noticed she was uncomfortable and I decided to intervene. I looked at the girl on line and said "I am Nomi, and this is my friend Michal." The girl nodded and turned away, as if that explanation was enough. I realized then that was truly all that mattered, we were friends. During week one or even week two, she was Michal from the panimia and I was Nomi the American volunteer. We did not always understand each other, she did not always want to hang out with me and I struggled to find things for us to do together. At this point, however, our relationship had changed. We overcame a language barrier, different cultures and an age difference and formed a bond that was real and meaningful. We stood online together, we joked and we talked just as I would with any of my friends. Our differences were no longer palpable and our similarities could not have been more glaring. For the rest of the day, we ran from ride to ride and waited in line for hours for five minutes of thrill. It had become so simple, we were friends enjoying a day at the amusement park. At the end of the day, we sat together on the bus on the way back to the panimia. Michal sat next to me and we listened to music. It somehow came up in conversation that I would be leaving in a week. Upon hearing this, Michal was confused and upset. I explained that I had to return home and that I would miss her. As I spoke, I began to tear up because I would genuinely miss my new friend Michal. Michal, my younger, non English speaking friend from the panimia.

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