Monday, April 25, 2011

Callie's final reflection

I just want to start off by saying that this was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. I met so many great and kind people and I would not change it for anything. The trip really allowed me to reflect on the life that I live, how I should appreciate it, and how I can change it. There are so many things in my life that I had never valued until now. They are mostly simple things, like being able to flush my toilet paper or brushing my teeth with the tap, but I never thought anything of them until I didn't have them. Not only did this trip teach me to appreciate the simple things in my life but it also taught me to value the people I surround myself with and focus less on material objects. Most of the people that I encountered were the happiest people I have ever met and had so much but in many places would be seen as people who had so little. They are able to focus more on their friends and families instead of the newest ipod or pair of sneakers. Even though they don't have all the newest material objects they are still able to live happy lives. But I think most importantly I learned about sustainability and how I need to take responsibility for the way I live my life. Before this trip I never saw the connection between the food I eat and the rise in greenhouse gasses or clean water and agriculture. I now understand that everything is connected in so many ways. I know that I cant change my way of living overnight but I am definitely going to try and live more sustainably. I cant wait to go back to the Dominican Republic and also share what I have learned with other people at SLA. 

My favorite photo: This is a picture of a boy named Brailyn. He is fourteen years old but you would never guess that he was because he looks so young. He was malnourished when he was younger which caused his lack in development. He used to live with his grandma and many other kids and would have to live on the floor because he never had a bed. He was recently adopted by the man who drove  our bus in the Dominican Republic. I chose this photo because he just looks so happy. I remember taking the photo just after we had hiked up Brisone. He was laughing and smiling and I asked him why he was laughing so much and he said "because Im happy." I just think that it is amazing how he is able to find such joy in his life. He has been through so much and many people would use that as a handicap but he totally lives his life to the fullest. 

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