Confucius is wrong. Leave your heart.

Years ago when I was moving thousands of miles away from my home and everyone I knew, Mama gave me a bracelet. It was a simple silver cuff. Small and delicate. It was engraved with a quote by the Chinese philosopher Confucius.

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

I try to remember that when I am coming and going. Hellos are fun. Full of excitement and anticipation. Wonderment at the newness of getting to know someone, someplace new. Goodbyes are different. Goodbyes are full of a different kind of uncertainty. A sadness that comes with not knowing what the future holds or when we’ll meet again.

We are leaving Guatemala today. We are saying goodbye.

Goodbye to a beautiful country. Beautiful people. Beautiful music.

Photos: Shelby Zacharias & Laura Reinhardt

Today is Guatemala’s Independence Day. Yesterday, we got to celebrate with the people of Guatemala. Watching parades. Dancing in the Central Park in Antigua. Guatemala has a deep and rich history. And if the children we met this week are any indication, it is a country with a very bright future.

We are leaving Guatemala today, but we are not taking all of our hearts with us. We are leaving a little behind.

We are leaving our hears with our sponsor children and the joy we got from meeting them and playing games with them.

We are leaving our hearts behind in the music we played with the young musicians at World Vision's music school.

Photo: Laura Reinhardt
Photo: Laura Reinhardt

We may be leaving Guatemala today. But we are not saying goodbye. There is still work to be done. Instead we say, "Until we meet again."

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