Hugs, Cuddles & Goodbyes

by Colette Aroh

Week 5 of BUP and I’m still learning so much!


At BUP we experienced the diets that many of the kids who come to Joyful Journey’s often eat for lunch. This meant our breakfast was soda, and an assortment of sugary pastries full of empty calories. The intense sugar high lasted a whopping half hour before I had to down another snack, continuing the habit until lunch, when I could eat the bag of chips and sweets. By the end of the day not only was I extremely agitated, frustrated, and tired but I had an extreme sense of being blessed that though my family has always had to struggle, we have always somehow been blessed to have just enough healthy food to sustain us.


While at BUP I’ve discovered how much of a touchy-feely person I am. I’m definitely going to miss the ease of random hugs, comfort, and support that the team shares (often started because of my beloved fuzzy, grey blanket). I never realized how much of this was missing from my life until now, as I reexamine my relationships at home. When I go back, I may not be able to have many friendships incorporate this, but I will definitely continue to discover what habits that make me feel more connected with people that can be strengthened.


On Tuesday, I had to say goodbye to one of my kids who was went home for the rest of the week as a disciplinary action, and my heart broke. Not only did it break my heart that I would no longer get to share God’s love with him, but I had this crushing feeling that we had given up on him. I’ve been praying so hard for Adam, and calm, and finally can trust in God’s power that he will use the love of the last few weeks to do His will in Adam’s life. This was also a harsh realization that I have only 2 more days of the loud, stubborn, friendly kids who have filled my last month with spontaneous cheers, nae-nae dance parties and hugs. I am going to need a lot of God’s grace and mercy as I assimilate back into campus life at Hopkins, but I know I will always carry the 35 children from Joyful Journey in my heart.

by Colette Aroh


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