Short Story

727 Words3 Pages
She greeted me with, “¡Bom día!”
I replied with, “Good morning, Rayssa!”

It was the second day of camp, and the first activity on the list was lava lamps. It was just the old colored water, oil solution with an alka-seltzer creating magnificent bubbles. Of course, we knew how it worked, but the little ones thought it was magic.

After the science behind the homemade lava lamps was explained, their eyes lit up with excitement and looked eager to learn more. Before moving on to the next experiment, I announced that the kids could take home the lava lamps they had made. Initial looks of confusion appeared on their faces followed by screams and gasps and elation.

My own camper looked at Felipe, the translator, and started speaking in
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Her life was different. Now, everything made sense. I understood why her mother said she was so grateful to us for running a free, week-long STEM camp for 40 kids around the area. She never thought Rayssa would even meet an American. That struck me as a peculiar statement. Why is it so amazing to meet someone just because they are from America? I realized in such a small and underserved town such as Pindamonhangaba, Brazil, where there is little to no traffic from outside, meeting people from places you dream about going to must feel like a step closer to your dream.

I felt a new feeling that I had never felt before; it was similar to the feeling of accomplishment, but not quite. A few weeks after I had returned from the amazing trip, our team coach told us he had received an email from Leo, an adult who was involved with the execution of the camp. He said that one of the kids from the camp was so inspired by us, he agreed to learn English; something his father had been trying to persuade him to do for the last few years. He also now wanted to become an Engineer and said he wanted to work harder in school. Leo had included a picture of the camper. I recognized him because I remember sitting with him during lunch and answering his questions. Instead of asking me of what I liked to do or what my favorite game was, he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, where I went to school, how long do I plan on studying, and if I

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