As the glistening sun peeked above the clouds I could see the outline of one of the most beautiful natural creations-a volcano. I have always dreamt of traveling around the world exploring the glorious sites that make every place unique, but this trip to Costa Rica would change my outlook on life forever. My family and I beamed with joy as we rappelled down powerful waterfalls, galloped through flowered pastures on majestic horses, and zip-lined at extreme speeds over the canopies of one of the most diverse and exotic rainforests in the world. Although, the adventures were incredible, there was a distinct barrier between us and "them". Of course, the most obvious hindrance was language. Having previously taken three years of Spanish, I was the only one able to even partially communicate with the natives. Being the sole communicator, my family relied on me to order, get directions, and translate information about the culture and lifestyle of the people there.
Up to this point, we stayed within the tourist traps, however, when we had to travel for hours from one destination to another on a long, windy road my eyes were opened up to a whole new idea of life. I had always seen pictures of starving, helpless children, but never really grasped the concept of the less fortunate until then. As my eyes were glued to the window, I saw shacks with nothing more than a flimsy tin roof to offer protection from the blistering heat or pounding rain. They had no cable, no washing machine, no internet. Tears began to fall down my cheeks as I saw the simple things I took for granted everyday was a luxury for these innocent people. I saw the vibrant clothes flapping with the gush of the wind, and the children running around the dirt yard playing with nothing but a stick and a small ball, but most shocking of all were the smiles that lit up their faces. They loved life even though they had very little.
Although, I never got the chance to actually meet these inspirational people, they changed my life forever. I believe this was God's way of showing me the greater purpose in life which is to serve Him through the needs of others. Those people that I saw along the side of the road that day have no idea the impact they had on me, but I wall forever be indebted to them for bringing me closer to my Savior and showing me the true meaning of life.
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