From the view of an outsider, my life probably fits the perfect American statistical data. I have two parents, I live in the suburbs, and I have one brother and two dogs. However, I do not fit the cliché profile of a self-involved American girl, to the contrary I became the master of my own fate the world became to me not simply a place to inhabit but a place that offered unknown knowledge and experience. I have traveled to Honduras, Spain, and Mexicoand have seen both the haves and the have-nots. My travels and experiences have made me view the world in a different way and renewed my mind. My understanding is that the world is to be experienced tangibly and not from an impersonal medium, only then will you be considered a citizen of the earth.
When I was in the sixth grade my father had the unusual idea of going to Honduras. We didn’t know anybody there, we didn’t speak Spanish and I of course had never been out of the country. However, this did not hold me back from anxiously accepting the invitation. I had been waiting for an opportunity like this my whole life: to undertake something new and embrace it wholly. I had no idea what I had signed myself up for, unbeknownst to me my life would be forever altered. Immediately after I stepped off the plane and on to Honduran soil in San Pedro Sula, I noticed that nothing was the same. Right outside the airplane’s runway there were huts made out of pieces of metal, cardboard, and anything else the people who lived there could find. Over my time spent there, my family and I visited many small towns with houses just like these. I remember specifically a woman named Rosawho had ten children who she lived with in a dirt floor hut about the size of my own room and made her money by selling food out of her house. When we met her however she seemed as if none of this affected her happiness; in fact, she was more positive then most people at my high school now. I was dumbfounded, how could someone whose life I had considered meager have so much happiness and contentment. Before the trip, my world was small and without consequence after my trip my world grew immense and messy yet unexplainably wonderful.
The trip to Honduras inspired me to learn about worlds unfamiliar to me. After two more trips to Honduras in my last two years of middle school, I decided to apply for a magnet program at Dr.Phillips, the school for which I was not zoned. The program gave me a wealth of experiences of hosting foreign exchange students from Denmark, Japan and Austria, as well as being able to travel to Spain this past year. I was also given the opportunity to learn Spanish from teachers passionate about the language.
The language component of my program accompanied with my travels into Latin American and beyond further opened my mind to both the beauties and travesties of this great world. Which such thoughts weighing on my mind daily I now understand why my father suddenly took us to Honduras six years ago; it was because he knew and I know now that if we as people are left isolated we become in increasing measure jaded and selfish. However, the innumerable experience I have gone through has not merely made me a citizen of the world but someone who feels empathy for the greatest and the least of god’s people.
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