Rachel had some interesting experiences at camp this year. She has known adults with hand differences, but never another child. And she has longed to know another kid with a hand like hers. In her group this year was another girl her age with hand (and foot) differences - not like Rachel's, but someone else who has to deal with stares and weird questions. Rachel was thrilled! The next day, Rae's teacher introduced her to his 13 year old daughter, who also had a "little hand". A few minutes later, we met an adorable 4 year old boy with a hand very much like Rachel's. So now Rae knows 3 other kids who have hand differences! And for the first time, she truly knows that she is not alone, that there are other people who share her challenges and frustrations. And that is a powerful thing.
The last event of China Camp is Closing Ceremonies. During this time, everyone gathers and the kids perform songs and dances and kung fu moves for their parents. It is always fun and sweet and deeply moving. I found the girls before the action started. Rae was happy to flash a big smile...
Closing Ceremonies begins with performances by the youngest kids, who have stage fright or forget their lyrics or are off beat, which makes them even cuter. Each class follows with their own performance. Rachel's group showed off kung fu moves they'd learned during the week. Rachel hid in the back row and did her positions with as little enthusiasm as possible. She is so not a performer!
We always have a hard time leaving China Camp. There are so many emotions and such deep friendships there that we are never quite ready to let go. This year was no exception. Rachel wanted to show us all of her craft projects. She was especially pleased with the umbrella she decorated.