The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy

Ka Leo

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My last sip of coconut milk

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During our stay at Hwa Nan Women’s College, we bonded with Chinese big sisters. Cherry, one of the big sisters, took care of us from our arrival to departure. Photo taken by Shelby Mattos.

It happened. The last day of our stay in Hwa Nan Women’s College inevitably came. I woke up and knew that today was going to be filled with goodbyes to all of our big sisters.

After eating a bowl of ramen for breakfast, I scrambled to pack my things. I had refused to believe that we would be separated from our big sisters. Packing was extremely difficult, not because I had an overabundance of trinkets that I wanted to bring back, but because it meant that this was real, and I didn’t want it to be.

When the time came to get on the bus, I headed toward one of my big sisters’, Sheen’s, English class to discover that her class already started. Sadly, I couldn’t say goodbye face-to-face.

I walked toward the bus, where many of our big sisters were standing, waiting for us to come down from our rooms. When I saw one of my sisters, Cherry, I couldn’t hold in my emotions anymore.

Although I became close with many of my big sisters, Cherry will always have a special place in my heart. She was there for us nearly every day. Even when she didn’t go on excursions with us, she came and hung out with us after her classes ended.

Cherry is the best big sister anyone could ever ask for; she was always looking out for us, sharing coconut milk with us and laughing. Saying goodbye to her was more bitter than eating a lemon raw.

She walked to me, arms wide open, and kept telling me that I shouldn’t be crying but after a while she ended up crying with me. Cherry gave me a bottle of the coconut milk she knew I fell in love with along with a warm hug. I don’t remember how long we cried, hugged, separated, dried each others tears and repeated the cycle.

As everyone made their way on the bus, I stood far away, refusing to get on because once I got on, everything would come to an end. Once the last of the girls got on I had to join them. I slowly made my way toward the yellow vehicle with tears falling down my face like a waterfall all while holding the coconut bottle.

The bus started to drive away, and all the sisters had smiles on their faces mirroring them was my sad tear-filled-crying-face.

The bus ride to the airport was eerily silent; none of us were as merry as the days before. While staring out my window, I slowly drank the last of my coconut milk while crying for the last time in Fuzhou.

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My last sip of coconut milk