I have been snorkeling, I have tasted shark, I have chewed on an actual sugar cane, I have created pottery out of clay and water and I have learned more about the culture in the last four days than I ever could have learned in a book. I have had the opportunity to meet amazing individuals whom I never would have met if it had not been for this opportunity and I have been able to have conversations with professionals in the field that I am hoping to work in that I never would have had otherwise.
My favorite experiences, thus far, could be narrowed down to the experience in the primary school and snorkeling in the ocean. If you asked me last week if I would be getting in the ocean, I would have told you ‘no way’, but right there in that moment I decided I would never be able to do this at home, and I strapped on my life vest, put on a mask and jumped in. The fish were huge and the coral was beautiful. The water was rough but crystal clear and although I was terrified that something in the water would get me, I did it anyways and because of this, I can now say that I snorkeled in the ocean and, ultimately, no one can take that memory away from me.
The opportunity to visit with a primary school also proved to be a memory that will not be easily forgotten. After talking with the students about what they wanted to be when they grew up and how they planned on getting there, we began to create small talk with them. After some encouragement we were able to get one of the young girls to sing for us after she told us that she enjoyed singing. My jaw literally dropped when this young girl opened her mouth and began singing. She was amazing! Kristia and I just looked at each other in amazement and then we began singing along with her. Not only were we able to enjoy a moment listening to such a talented girl, but we were also able to share in the moment and sing along with her. In so many ways we were different than these children, whether we were talking about where we came from and how we talked and what we ate, but in that moment we were so similar. I will never forget that moment and how I felt so connected to those young kids, and I will never forget the way that this trip pulled me out of my box and into the world.
College Student Personnel, Master's Student, 1st Year
University of Louisville ISLP