Two weeks from tomorrow marks the beginning of this summer's most exciting event, my second trip to Honduras. The fundraising is complete, the flights have been booked, and all that's left now to do is get everything packed up and make last minute preparations. But aside from the preparations you would expect to come along with a mission trip, there is another element that I don't talk about as much, the emotions that happen with a trip like this.
I struggle a lot when I'm trying to tell people about my experiences on this trip last year, because I always feel like whoever I'm telling just isn't quite getting it. It used to frustrate me when I felt like I was pouring out my heart and all I got in response was "Oh that sounds so great!" or "It's so nice that you went and did that!" It sometimes seems like the only people who get what I'm saying are the people who went on the trip themselves, but when I think about it, I guess that makes sense. How can you understand something you've never experienced. So, while maybe no one but me will benefit from this, here I go again trying to explain what the big deal is about this experience.
First, you have to accept the fact that you only have 10 days to do something that you would need a lifetime to do completely. You have to realize that you're not going to fix everything and give these children the life that they deserve. All you can do is love them while you're there, and that will never feel like enough. While you're trying to wrap your head around that, you're receiving love everywhere you turn. Children that have not ever been shown love are somehow being more loving and genuine than most people ever are, and your heart has to be prepared to take in all that love and accept it without questioning if it is deserved or not. When you find it hard to love yourself, it makes you very vulnerable to have all of that love being offered to you. On the last day, after what feels like the fastest ten days ever, you have to tear yourself away from a mission that feels incomplete and return to a world that hardly makes sense anymore. You have to resume normal life in an overly privileged country where no one understands how lucky they are and people constantly complain about things that now seem so irrelevant. Things that used to seem so important now seem silly, and you are constantly longing for genuinely meaningful experiences like you had during those 10 days.
I don't know why I keep trying to explain it, because it honestly doesn't matter if anyone else understands. This experience is something I know is important in my life, and it's okay if no one else understands. I guess I'm just hoping that if I keep talking about it, at least one person will be impacted in some way by all of this vague, emotionally charged explaining I am trying to do.