We walk back to the horses and gallop, wildly, over another set of green-gold hills to the new school Martina will begin working with.
The familiar two small blue and white buildings in a valley surrounded by mountains and a sea of silver, low clouds. The musical sonnet of children playing, which stops abruptly when they see the four horses and riders walking down the road. Then I try to give my best impression of a person hopping down from a horse, but know my soreness probably gives it away that I’m not.
Fortunately the children are so excited to see Martina, even my camera snaps hardly interrupt them.
She sweetly delivers the stacks of notebooks with an animated speech that leaves the kids laughing and smiling, as she teases and admonishes them to study hard.
She lights up in front of these kids like nothing I’ve ever seen. Theatrical and funny, yet sincere and kind. She gives each one a little hand shake or hug–in return each child shines with light and adoration. Only glimpse into the relationship she’s built over these past years, the little lives she’s impacted, this sweet little talk is enough to make my eyes water. I feel a swirl of pride and good fortune to be this woman’s friend, and humbled beyond belief with the beauty of the work she’s doing here…