he was my hero the entire week of camp. he didn't say much of anything the first day, just smiled and was agreeable. I knew he would be a favorite, because he was just so good. he didn't give me a minutes trouble.
Tuesday came and he walked through the double doors of the school and called, "good morning, Jennifer!" I looked at Filip and said, "does he speak English???" Filip nodded and said, "a little. just enough." I freaked out. I stood up and walked over to him and said, "Mirko, I had no idea you spoke English!" he smiled, a little sheepishly. "very little," he muttered. "well that is great! now you can help me out in class, yes?" he nodded, smiling.
|Mirko and Nika|
from that moment on, he was my translator. if I had a problem in class, it was, "Mirko, ask Denis to put his chair on the floor, please," and he would translate for me. the kids would want to tell me something and he would translate to the best of his ability. sometimes he would get confused and be speaking in English and ramble off into Slovak, seemingly without even realizing it.
he was quiet. he would speak up in class sometimes, offering his two cents worth to the lesson and answering questions. in general, he was just a really good kid. if I had a problem, he would try and help fix it. he would get confused sometimes, trying to say something in English and failing, but it was okay. at least he tried. and at least I had someone in my group that spoke some English.
he was absent-minded. he would walk out into the hallway to check his mailbox, but would end up wandering the hallways, without even realizing it. I would walk out and there would be Mirko, just walking, with this far-away look in his eyes. I would call his name and he would grin and come walking back to class.
we never really got to say goodbye. just a quick hug and smile in the hallway when the ceremony was over on Saturday. I saw him leaving with his mom later that afternoon, but didn't make it to him in time to really say goodbye. but I knew Mirko would understand. he always understood.