Play at Any Age

My name is Kusha Gurung, and I completed my community service hours at Mother of Good Counsel, a Catholic nursing home. Currently, the nursing home takes care of 68 residents. I still remember the first day of orientation when Sister Juliana introduced us to all the staff members and residents of the nursing home who welcomed us with bright smiles. We started our service by guiding residents to the activity hall to play exciting group games and saying the rosary. Being a part of the nursing home was a flash back to the playfulness of childhood. We painted, played air hockey, sang songs, danced, and giggled—those giggles are unforgettable. We also played bingo every Saturday; it was a fierce competition!

I cannot forget you Bill, because you gave me a Hershey bar every time you won at bingo, and the sweet chocolate taste still lingers in my mouth. Hey Bob, the book you gave us about your life journey makes me think about the meaning of life every time I turn the pages. Mary Rose, I wish we could dance once again in your room to that funny outdated song. And Helen, I wish I could hear your whisper of blessing and sweet-sounding voice every day. Miss Maria, I have no words to thank you for guiding us and helping us through our community service hours.

I don’t know whether the sound of my guitar and the songs I used to sing still ring out in the corner of the nursing home where I played, but the memories I made here will stay with me forever. Listening to those life stories and playing like a child is an opportunity I may not get again in my life, but I hope I do.

Thank you so much Sister Juliana, Dr. Ashley Robert, World Learning, and the U.S. Department of State for providing me this opportunity. Thank you so much Mother of Good Counsel Home for taking me back to my childhood.

Written by Kusha Gurung (Nepal) who studied at the University of Missouri – St. Louis  in the spring of 2020.