Saturday, November 15, 2014

Stop Talking About That!

Recently, it was announced that the two centers that we went to when I went to Honduras have closed down. I almost didn't write about it, because honestly I'm trying to train myself to write about things other than a 10 day trip that happened two years ago, and for once get through a story without saying the words "Honduras" and "mission trip". But when I was faced with the fact that I really won't ever get to see those children again, and possibly not have another experience like that, the way that I felt helped me realize why I still talk about that trip so much, and relieved some of the guilt I have about being so slow to move on.  I genuinely like mission trips. I'm drawn to the opportunity to do something that really feels meaningful, and feel the genuine emotions that
happen when you really start to care about something that isn't for your own personal benefit.
      I write about that experience not because I have something to prove, and not because I have nothing else to write about, but because it changed me. I was 18, fresh out of high school and not nearly as wise as I thought I was. I thought that because I have seen poverty on T.V., and heard about it in history
class, that I wouldn't really be too deeply affected by that experience. What I didn't realize is that everything changes when those faces you see on a T.V. screen become people with feelings and personalities, and stories that are often painful to hear. Those children and teens have a brand of wisdom that I could never have, because they have gone through things that I can't even begin to imagine relating to. That trip changed how I view the world, and made me more tolerant of people who are different than me. Now I know what it's like to be in a country where you don't speak the language and how confusing that is, and I no longer feel annoyed when I hear people speaking languages other than English. It helped me better understand just how much my parents love me, and made me realize that that kind of love is something that not everyone has been given by another human being. It even made me a better student. I have talked about that trip in many papers I have written, and now when I am learning about things and places outside of the United States, I feel like I can think of them in a different way because I have actually traveled outside the country and gotten to experience a small piece of what that's like. 
     I also write about it because I truly enjoyed it. There hasn't been a time since I got back from that first trip two years ago that I haven't wanted to go on another mission trip. It was my first time going out of the country, and even my first trip on an airplane, and it was really fun for me. I made new friends, and became much closer to some friends I already had.
     The fact that I went on one ten day mission trip two years ago doesn't make me better than anyone else. I don't write about it to my make myself look good, I just haven't figured out how to stop talking about it. I'm young and in college, and at times I'm going to do dumb things. But I'm certainly not going to write about those things on the internet, especially knowing that most of the people who read this are not my peers. I choose to only write about certain things because I am aware that once you put things on the internet, it's hard to completely remove them and I don't want something resurfacing twenty years from now that I will regret. That being said, I know that in the interest of good writing it's probably time to start talking about more recent and relevant things, which I have been trying to do. But the experiences I had in Honduras are something that I will always remember, and I'm sure I will still bring them up at times. Knowing that having that exact experience again isn't a possibility at all right now has made me realize just how much it meant to me, and I hope that there will be similar experiences in the near future. 

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