Twice a year we go on a day trip with the SKIP students. Our aim is to have fun while, at the same, learning in a context outside that of the written word and the adding up of columns of numbers.
On this occasion it was the beach, in Salaverry. The town is home to a fishing port, boats of all sizes, fishermen and a peaceful beach.
We had it all planned; the only thing left to do was to let the families and students know the day and time for the enjoyment of a day of sun, sea and sand. Then, at the last minute, we were told that the buses we had been relying on weren???t available… Oh, no! (heads in our hands), What do we do? (all hands on deck).
No sooner was it said than done! Enthusiasm, love and hope are what drive us, and, so, we started to mobilise friends, relatives, past volunteers, etc. via social networks, and within two days we had enough money to hire buses to take all the SKIP students! It???s incredible how many generous people there are in the world…
Families informed, rucksack packed with all the essentials, buses waiting at the gate, students brimming with excitement, mothers ready for the trip… Let???s go have some fun!
We all arrived at the beach wearing the biggest grins (needless to say that everyone had put on their best clothes, and even painted their nails), and, even though the sky was clouded over and there was a chilly breeze, nothing could stop us rushing to get straight in the water.
Some of our students had never been to the beach before, so the trip was truly thrilling.
At SKIP we have daily, weekly and monthly plans for our work with the students, but, on this occasion, we let the students themselves organise the day???s activities.
Dipping our feet into the cold salt water for the first time, castles, pictures traced and shapes dug out in the earth, games in the waves, splashing each other, catching fish with our hands, finding sand crabs, searching for crabs among the rocks and watching how they move, more raucous games in the waves, chasing seagulls and watching them flock together, burying our feet in the sand, our hands, our bodies, digging and digging in the sand, fear and nervousness in the face of the unknown, the feeling of freedom with each movement in the water and in the sand, brimming with curiosity at each step, each movement, profound excitement conveyed in hugs and wide smiles, discovering what our bodies can do, making up incredible tales about huge fish, lauded friendship and fun group games, running and running til arriving breathless at the end of the beach, sharing food, along with love and joy, on the sand, going to the harbour to watch the fishermen, long walks together, races along the beach, happy mothers wearing smiles while they walk, talk, watch the goings on around them or buy fish, everyone transformed into children feeling the excitement of each of the SKIP students, smiles and understanding shared between us all, gratitude, joy… immense joy.
Each game, each movement, each discovery… charged with beautiful emotions and feelings, of those that fill the heart, that are so intense that they wear out the body sending you to sleep on the bus ride home.
And so it was. We came back delighted and happy with the lovely day that we???d shared, worn out by the excitement, the races and the games.
On the bus ride back to SKIP, everyone friends, everyone thrilled, everyone happy, everyone dreaming of the next trip.
Many thanks to the team of volunteers that, as always, gave their all: Adri??n, Claudio, Fabianne, Fin, Hannah, Jacky, Katalina, Lali, Mar, Maja, Minerva, Silvia and V??ctor. Thanks to the mothers, our classroom assistants, who accompanied us, along with their love and excitement. To the anonymous people who donated money so that we could realise this dream. To the bus company for looking after us on the way there and back.
The day was filled with magic, love and excitement, giving our all to the children who charmingly thanked us with their best smiles, and most heartfelt hugs and impassioned expressions.
Just like the ocean, every day we continue to drench ourselves in life!