Rachel Beihl
Rachel Beihl
Spain 2018 - 2019
Hi! I'm Rachel Beihl. For the next few months I will be going through a life changing experience in Valencia, Spain working in child care and social welfare. I will be working with children from under privileged backgrounds, providing them with a safe and fun space to learn. Additionally, I'll be organizing all kinds of workshops, sports, or cultural activities, serve as role model and mentor, be an international friend for the children, and help create networks for marginal neighborhoods. Read More About Rachel →
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A Home Reflection

To be honest, I’m still reflecting on my emotions towards being back home. It’s only been a week and I need more time to process it all.

My last day at work was the sweetest! The teachers I worked with threw me a small party. The three teachers gathered their classes and made a circle, placing me in the middle. They danced around me and expressed their gratitude. I explained to them that I was forever grateful for having been apart of such a beautiful community. These teachers were beyond ordinary and I made sure to let them know. They gifted me with a large photo of them with their classes and individual drawings from the students with an address attached to stay in contact. As I said my good-byes, I had one of my little children in my arms. She dug her face into my shoulder. I asked if she was okay and when she looked at me, she had tears coming down her face! My heart broke. I know it’s part of the journey but walking out of a child’s life is not easy. I’m going to stay in contact with the teachers via e-mail but I still wish I could have stayed with my little babies forever! I can’t wait to hear from them!

Now, my arrival into J.F.K was not as bad as I expected it to be with the government shut down. I made it through customs in less that 15 minutes. I filled out a quick questionnaire on a computer, the guard asked me, “Are you declaring anything?”, I said no and went on my merry way. I walked out of customs and broke down in tears when I saw my dad smiling at me near the entrance. I missed my people! I have thoroughly enjoyed being around my family. I love being in their presence and being able to hug them. I cannot begin to explain how tired I grew of Facetime. On a scale of one to ten for connectedness, one for low and ten for high, I give Facetime a big fat three. I prefer to “talk to ya when I see ya,” when it comes to long conversations. In the states, I typically use Facetime for silly, short conversations. However, I checked in on family on a weekly basis and sometimes daily. It was bitter-sweet to say the least. All-in-all, I am taking advantage of the time I have back at home.

Aside from working, I spent majority of my time in Spain applying to graduate schools. Thankfully, I completed all of that work before coming home but Uncle Sam still found a list of things for me to take care of. Welcome home! Jokes aside, I do enjoy staying busy, but I would enjoy it more in Valencia, where the sun is always shining, the coffee is 1.50 euro, and everyone takes a siesta. That’s the one thing I would definitely bring back from Spain if I could. If dying and taxes are inevitable, why not throw a siesta in the mix to make it more bearable? Ah, one can dream.

Overall, I am extremely excited to see what 2019 brings. By February, I will find out my status for graduate school! I’m honestly at peace with whatever the outcome is. I just have this feeling that everything will play out the way it is meant to. Spain helped me focus on my strengths as an individual and it assured me that I am on the right path. 2019 is my year to further engage in activities and conversations surround topics that I am passionate about, i.e. mental health, mental illness, child-care and development, social issues etc. I dedicated myself to my undergraduate work and received wonderful opportunities because of it. Now, I am prepared to take it to the next level.

This scholarship helped me immerse myself into work that I care about dearly, but it also allowed me to hit the reset button. I know that I earned my awards and opportunities because of the work I put into it all. However, it put a strain on my mental health, and I know this is an issue for millions of students across the world. That’s why I am beyond thankful for this scholarship. I needed it more than I realized at the time. Now, I am prepared for what’s to come.

Talk soon,

Rachel Beihl

One thought on “A Home Reflection”

  1. Welcome home my dear ❤️ l am glad that you have all this experience.those memory will be in your heart forever vale.te amo.

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