Day 9: Rocking the Boat

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A special note from Hailey London:

We started this morning’s meeting off with the discussion of the following quote:

“What others are doing around you seems very important when you have not found your own steadiness. You want to say to them, “Don’t rock my boat! If you rock my boat, I can’t be steady.” But the truth of it is, you’re the only boat-rocker in your world. Only you can rock your boat.”

I am overwhelmed with how beautifully all the students on this adventure have found their own steadiness.

Watching the transformation that each and every student from Ross has undergone in just 6 short days, in the presence of the Hoops 4 Hope All Stars and MVP’s, is powerfully rewarding. There’s not one student who hasn’t displayed beautiful growth in one area or another. What Hoops 4 Hope does daily is truly heroes work and I am humbly blessed to have the honor to be here with them and the 21 Ross students who couldn’t be a better team if we had hand picked them.

Today I witnessed a spontaneous magical day, as it unfolded. Dancers, musicians, children, rain and joyful play ruled the day.

Watching Deborah and Maria in a circle of children singing and smiling with pure bliss on their faces.

Julia, Alejandra and Rachel learning playground dance games from the kids and showing their growing confidence in the center of the dance circle, their faces proud now, instead of embarrassed.

Manny, Joao, Audrix, Alex, Luis, Jonas, Gianluca, Bruce and others, not letting the rain stop them as they charged to the soccer field, like pied pipers a trail of children followed them, cheering and dancing.

Dani learning the drums and playing them with confidence. She also changed a young girl’s life in a mere hour. As she said goodbye to her new friend she was told “I will never forget you, not even when I die” The young girl, sacrificed her special bracelet so that she could give her new friend Dani a present.

Jared, his new brother Tida, Oscar, Chris, Jason, Michael, Jonas and Alex commanded the hoop with a three-point shooting contest with the Hoops 4 Hope MVP’s as small children cheered around them.

Georgia, dancing with MVP Mildred, smiling ear-to-ear and oozing confidence.

And Michael, encircled by a pile of kids mesmerized by his hair as they ran over just to get a feel and compare his hair to theirs.

Bruce, again, stealing the show by dancing with the traditional dancers, showing his skill and his growing confidence. I am convinced that Bruce is good at everything and he has been the first to dive head first into every activity and experience.

Chris F, pushing passed his comfort level to dance in the center of the traditional dancers.

Audrix, Gianluca and Michael learning to drum as Bruce, Oscar, Joao and Luis explored the miramba.

Overall, it was a very special day at the Glen Norah Community House, as all of our days have been.

Yesterday, Gianluca stood in the center of a large circle of about 90 children and spoke to them about how to achieve happiness. He had them repeat after him as he reminded them “I am strong, I am smart, I am loved, I am happy, I will be happy”.

“Nobody else knows your reason for being. You do. Your bliss guides you to it. When you follow your bliss, when you follow your path to joy, your conversation is of joy, your feelings are of joy — you’re right on the path of that which you intended.”

– Hailey

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