My experience might have been different because I was the youngest and the most inexperienced in service but I think it was most affected by the realization that I downright don’t like to travel. I am the definition of a homebody. I have this belief that anyone who wants to make a difference in the world should travel it and by all means I’m one of those people yet I can’t shake the longing of my own bed and comforts no matter how enriching the cultural experience. This makes for an unshakable impatience throughout the entirety of the trip and enduring my lack of inner calm was the hardest thing for me.

What happened in Africa changed my life. Fixing the children’s cuts and scrapes, taking Grace to the hospital, witnessing our friends’ gratitude when we gave them gifts or old things of ours, trying to convince a grandmother to allow her child to come back home for the night even though he did not fetch his share of water, taking the children at the Center with to an African Footprint show and to the Slave Castles… All of these memories made the trip worth more to me than any of my comforts at home. I will have these memories forever and I can share them with everyone. I sacrificed home for a month and I am so grateful for all I acquired in that time.
If someone like me who hates leaving her comfort zone can live in a small village for a month, then it’s hard to see why more people don’t. I’m nothing special, I just want to change the world.

Monica

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