Final thoughts by Kathryn McConnell

After being reminded of the immense love of the Salvadoran people, and basking in the light of their smiles and the warmth of their embraces, it breaks my heart to have to say ‘adios.’ Just this morning mi Mama told me that I am now part of the family and a new hermanita to Caro, Veronica, Lisseth, David, and Raquel. I truly feel like these people are my family, and they have taught me so much about love and generosity that I can’t even begin to express it. When I went to hug Veronica goodbye, she held me so tightly that I lost the little control I had on my emotions, and tears streamed down my cheeks. When she let go, I turned to be pulled into the arms of Jose, and he looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t cry Kathryn. Pease don’t cry. We will see you again. Please don’t cry.” Next, I fell into the arms of mi Mama, and through her tears she told me, “Kathryn, daughter, you know that we always love you and you are always welcome in our home. Please give greetings to your family for us.” She then handed me off to my hermanita Raquel and she hugged me and whispered “adios.” Then, even though I didn’t know them well, the other moms came up and hugged and kissed me goodbye. They told me it was great to meet me and to have a safe trip home. I walked to the back of the bus and had to say goodbye to one of my best friends in the world. He held me and tried to comfort me, and when he let go, he gave me a smile that reassured me that it would be ok. I stepped off the bus and into the arms of our guide. She told me something and I thought about it and smiled as my new family drove away in the bus. She had told me, “Look at all of those people. You mean so much to all of them and they truly love you. You know that when you come back, all of those people will be waiting to welcome you home.” I may be back in the United States, but the people of El Salvador are forever with me in my heart.

3 Comments

  1. Natalie McConnell
    May 5, 2014 - Reply

    You should write a book about your adventures.You could become a famous and rich writer/doctor that lives in a brightly colored beach house with your miniature horse. I think you could pull it off.
    Love,
    Nat

  2. Celso Guzmàn
    June 24, 2014 - Reply

    WOW AMAZING!!! I AGREE WITH NATALIE ,THANKS KATHRYN YOU KNOW WE’RE YOUR FAMILY,YOUR FRIENDS,YOUR BROTHER AND ALL YOU THINK AND REMEMBER YOU’RE PART OF MY BEST FRIENDS TOO, I REALLY LOVE TO WRITE TO AND I LIKE YOU THINK LIKE ME WHEN WE DO TO WRITE..
    WE TAKE ON YOU!!!

  3. Shannon Murphy
    December 30, 2015 - Reply

    I feel the same way Kathryn. When Celso and I hugged for the last time he said “I will never let you go” as a friend and that was the sweetest thing I ever herd in my life. I was crying tears of joy for the first time and then it was sad tears because I knew I had to say goodbye to him and everyone else. I remember he said “shhhhh, it’s okay, don’t cry” and he held me and tears were streaming down my face. so I know how you feel.

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