Jun 27, 2007


Layla and Me on her last day in Saipan, Sunday, June 10, 2007

Layla. She of the amazing red hair. She has the most incredible hair I've seen on a human being. Waves and waves of curls in deep red. It's the first thing most people notice about her. But even after a few moments with Layla you quickly realize that her hair is like the gorgeous,hand-carved frame around a priceless artistic masterpiece. What's truly remarkable about Layla is the kind of person she is.

Unlike a lot of us, Layla keeps her own counsel most of the time and I admire that so much. She maintains an air of mystery that those of us who love the sound of our own voices can never attain. There was a gravity and wisdom about her that I found intriguing. I always found myself wondering what she was thinking. When Layla spoke, you shut your trap and listened well. Watching the enthusiasm and expertise with which she taught Science to the kids I knew she was highly intelligent, and whenever she did weigh on the subject at hand, it was always clear that she was a deep, philosphical thinker.

Though Layla chose to hold her cards close, there were certain things about Layla that were crystal clear. Her love for nature. Her love of knowledge and wisdom. Her kindness, gracious demeanor, and warmth. Her ready smile. But most of all her love her for her students. You couldn't miss that about Layla. It was evident in the extra hours she spent with them during lunch break, after school, on the weekends. Her mission was to be a teacher and friend to the kids, and she was. She loved them mightily and they loved her back.

And when the day came for her to leave, she left true to herself. Quick hugs. Hidden tears. A resolute walking away without looking back. The breaking of her heart, she would keep to herself.

And that was okay because all of us who came to treasure Layla over the past year already knew the most important thing about Layla. It's the thing I know her colleagues, students, and friends will always remember. That she loved with all her heart.

Layla, Bev, & Missy.

Layla never lost sight of why she was in Saipan. She was here for these kids. Here she is with a few of them.

The picture above right and below were taken on the day that one of my former students, Ayaka Yoshida (formerly known as "The Diva" in this blog) moved away from Saipan to attend college in Japan.

Layla takes The Long Walk

1 comment:

Bev said...

Awww, I miss layla =(