Day 14: A Final Farewell
Fifteen days, fourteen students, two interpreters, two instructors, one dedicated bus driver & countless memories. In just two weeks I feel as though I’ve grown a life time. It’s unbelievable to think that in a matter of hours we’ll be boarding a plane back to reality. In the blink of an eye, two weeks flew by (unintentional rhyme – awesome), but yet it feels like I’ve been here a lifetime. It’s funny, no matter how you think a trip is going to go, it never turns out the way you expect it to.
When I applied for this trip, I was most excited to get the chance to travel and get credits for it. I never thought that my outlook on life and my perspective views would change so much. Having the opportunity to meet the people that I have here while working with the agencies that we did is a total unforgettable experience. I will never forget the high spirited Sister Annie or the dedicated Mamita, I’ll think back to the house build & remember to appreciate the simple things in life. I’ll look back at my time at the school and remember that feeling of accomplishment from being able to teach a new skill to someone, despite a language barrier. Whether the people I met where too young to talk, or too aged to walk (another unintentional rhyme – double awesome), the experiences that I shared with them was worth every moment. I learned how to play again, to literally just act like a kid and let play happen, and use it as a means of communication, a way to bond, and a way to build relationships.
I talk about the people that I’ve met here, but it’s really the experiences I’ve shared with each and every person in this group that helped to shape the trip that it’s been. The strangers who soon became acquaintances, the acquaintances who then became friends, and the friends who turned into family. It’s going to be the weirdest thing going back home and not seeing the same people I’ve seen every day for the past 14 days. When I look back to all the laughs that we shared, and all the crazy moments we had, I know that no one else will quite understand the experience we had. I wrote this blog for the past two weeks to share our experiences and give my perspective on the trip, but the only way to truly understand what we did, and who we became, would have been to be here yourself. Through all the challenges, all the overwhelming emotions, all the stairs, and all the heavy lifting – I still can’t help but think of all the good that came out of it. To every friend, family member, student and faculty member that helped fundraise not only for us to go on this trip, but for us to be able to do the house build as well, we couldn’t have done it without you. I am so thankful for all the amazing people that I have met and got to know even better, and I know I am walking away from this with more than just memories. One of the biggest things that I realized on this trip is that one person may not be able to change the world, but they can make a difference. So before I say my final farewell I’ll leave you with a story:
While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water. He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.” The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.” Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “IT MADE A DIFFERENCE FOR THAT ONE.”
For the last time,
Thanks for reading!!!!