See, Couchsurfing might be good for a place to stay for a road trip or overseas, but you find the real value of Couchsurfing in the people you meet and the worlds they open up for you.
You might suddenly see the beauty of spending time watching birds (something I once thought a ridiculous waste of time). Or you might be convinced that free fall sky diving isn't a completely insane idea and maybe, just maybe, one day....
Today, I met Dave Harter, the director of the STAR after school program in Saint Grace's church.
This program is not well funded. Two dollars to provide 3 meals a day for one child? Please. There is endless work to do. The resources are limited. But the staff and volunteers who work for this program show such a high level of commitment and creativity, that somehow they more than make up for whatever might be missing.
Dave posted on the Buffalo Couchsurfing group asking if anyone would like to volunteer. I replied. We e-mailed back and forth, discussed a few things and then today I found myself standing in front of 30 students talking about Panama.
They loved the slide show of pictures from Panama City to an outhouse in San Blas to parrotfish and sloths. The Ooohs and Ahhs I heard every time I flipped slide made my day.
I will admit, though, that I was terribly nervous. It has been years since I last stood in front of a classroom. My style has always been to create a framework for my lesson, and then improvise within the framework. But I am rusty.
Hats off to all the teachers out there. It is fun, exhilirating and wonderful in many ways, but I am exhausted.
I can't wait to do it again.