Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bus Buddies

I’d like to share a snapshot of our daily living here in Taiwan. One aspect of daily living is our daily trek to school and back home again. Thankfully our home is right at the bus stop, and the bus ride to school is only a short 10-15 minute ride.

Wednesday through Friday a driver from the school will take us home, but Mondays and Tuesdays we take the bus home. I look forward to Mondays and Tuesdays because as we take the bus home, we get to spend time with our “bus buddies.” Angel (5th grade) is the older cousin of Sandra (3rd grade) and Sandra’s brother, Ryan (2nd grade). Barry and Dick are both in third grade, they get off the bus one stop before the rest of us do. 

Anslea and I love our little bus buddies. They always run up to give us hugs as we go out to the bus stop. They try to teach us new games to play, or play the same old ones over and over and over again. On days with nice weather they climb the little overgrown mound of empty space between the two houses at the bus stop. On days with bad weather they huddle around us and tell us stories of what their friends said or did that day that was funny.

Some days we know what they’re communicating, and other days we are left laughing at their antics. Some days they’re perfect angels, and some days they’re little monkeys. But every day we spend with them is a special treasure. I’m saving as many of the memories as I can.

One day Barry was telling me something about his favorite movie and I had to keep asking him to slow down. Eventually Sandra exclaimed in exasperation, “Hey! Slow down! I’m not a foreigner and even I don’t understand what you’re saying!”

Another time Anslea and I arrived at the bus stop to find Dick sobbing. Sandra informed us he was sad because the teacher had changed the seating chart that day and Dick was no longer next to Cinderella, his crush. When the bus arrived the driver was full of concern until I explained what had happened - he was then suppressing laughter until we arrived at Dick and Barry’s stop. The driver didn’t stop laughing the rest of the way home.

These and so many other memories are the ones I want to take home with me. The bright memories spending time with the kids, getting to know them, and letting them know they are loved.Whenever we get on the bus, they’re fighting over who gets to sit next to us. And when we get off the bus, Angel and Sandra’s farewells always include many “I love you!”s and “I love you too!”s. I love my bus buddies, and I hope one day they will come to know God’s love too.

~Gabrielle Martin

Originally from Chicago, Gabrielle, is currently serving on the Taichung team in central Taiwan. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a B.A. in Liberal Studies, enjoys writing and photography and has a blog that can be found at This is her 4th year serving with VOICE Missions in Taiwan.

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