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"Journey of Love and Learning: A Year at HMA Maui"


     Summing up a year's worth of memories, emotions, experiences, and discoveries in one blog will be incredibly challenging. In a nutshell, HMA Maui feels like a home filled with blessings, where education and love intertwine seamlessly. As I left my home in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, I felt a mix of confidence and nervousness. Confident that I could excel and handle whatever challenges came my way, yet nervous because stepping into a leadership role requires showcasing your true character.

     I believe I possess wonderful qualities, but I must admit that I am quite shy and experience anxiety when it comes to public speaking. However, as I immersed myself in my roles and engaged with the students, I discovered joy in storytelling and gained confidence through my personal relationship with Christ.

     As a teacher overseeing the third and fourth-grade class, there were certainly days when the students taught me through their encouragement and curiosity. Meeting Mr. Katada (the principal), Mrs. Ramos (the K-2 teacher), and Ms. Anderson (another TA) provided me with a strong and supportive foundation. We exchanged concerns, fostered honest communication, and shared many laughs, all done through a shared devotion to God over our work and our students.

     Being in Maui is a breathtaking experience in itself, but it's the people who make up Maui that truly elevate its charm. The friendly encounters and lifelong memories will always hold a special place in my heart as I continue to uncover all that God has planned for my life.

     Immersing myself in the history and culture has significantly expanded my worldview, and I continue to seek deeper knowledge about the islands. One thing that will forever stay with me are the smiles, drawings, and hugs from the children. It's clear why the Lord treasures and loves His children so dearly, as Matthew 19:14 (NIV) emphasizes: "Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"

     Their love, care, and respect for teachers and staff are evident every day. During field trips, I couldn't resist getting involved myself. If I could experience this year again I would 110%, there truly is no experience I have that can top this!

     Here is one video where I was able to ask all the students what there favorite candy is!! I hope you enjoy it <3 

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