It’s been a roller coaster in my time here so far. Driving down the mountains on our way to Los Bancos has been the most rewarding experience for me thus far. I became filled with a wave of intense emotions. I finally truly understand why I’m here, why I made this decision; better understanding myself, and what I want to get not only out of this trip to Ecuador but also life. Seeing the never ending mountains and the bountiful greenery that surrounded me gave a sense of clarity! I experienced through my mother’s eyes what she has always wanted for my sister and I our whole lives. Although miles away from my mother, I never felt more close to her then I felt at that moment. Abby Falik talked about feeling and being with your family spiritually during Fall Training. The idea seemed so far fetched, but that’s exactly what I was experiencing. It felt as if I found a new emotion. I was awakened and filled with complete joy just to be in that moment. I began to have flashbacks on the times my mother, sister and I driving down the mountain of Labia, Guinea West Africa, and not being able to speak English because we didn’t want the police to know that we were American, those memories almost seem like dreams to me now. My mother wanted us to see the world, grow up with the globe as our back yard. No matter what obstacles she encountered this has remained her goal.
As I begin to travel on my own and explore the world I not only discover more about myself but I learn more about my mother and appreciate the women that she is. It’s so bizarre that no matter how much I might have fought not to be like, now I almost scare myself when I realize how much I am her. Therefore, I plan to go beyond what my mother did and dedicate everything I accomplish to her because without her planting that seed in my spirit, this wouldn’t have been possible. I wouldn’t be experiencing the most amazing thing in the world; the opportunity to learn, live, and exchange a different but more important learn and discover myself. Just thinking about it I give myself chills. Three years ago no one could have told me I would be living in South America literally in a jungle, monkeys and all. I believe it was my destiny to have this experience; in the weirdest way all the greatest and the worst experiences I’ve had have led a path to Global Citizen Year. Therefore, I thank God for them and I plan to embrace every moment here, both the feliz (happy) and the muey triste (very sad) because they’re all great.