Think about this, in the course of two weeks, you travel half way across the world, you spend two weeks using bucket showers, you sleep in a tent with sixteen strangers, you wake up at the crack of dawn every day to do as much work as you can painting classrooms and building shelves, and you are interacting daily with rhinos and elephants. Then after over twenty hours of travelling you are right back at it. Sitting in a classroom learning how to take vital signs, in the gym training on treadmills, and working daily. It isn’t easy to comprehend.
The next day we came home, the craziness of life kicked in. I had soccer practices, practical’s that determined if I failed or passed a class, two midterms worth twenty percent, and managing my sports league at school as an Intramural Coordinator. What did I do? I sat on a bench and cried, very productive. How can I buy Tim Hortons multiple times a day, when some people only make one dollar a day? How is it right to complain when I have so much? These are just a few personal conflicts I dealt with. I am only starting to process my feelings, and understand the experiences that shaped me on this trip.
One day we were just sitting in traffic. We all were sunburnt and had minimal energy. I was in a daze observing different people selling bananas and fruit. Then a woman approached the car. She looked hot, tired, and had a baby strapped on her back secured with a cloth. She was asking for food. My initial reaction was to give her all of my food, but my friend told me not to, because it enforced the idea of locals depending on tourists, which I understood, but how could I not help someone in need? I was conflicted, I wanted to do what was right, but what was right? It took a while to figure that one out. In the end there is no right answer we both had the right intentions, but we had different ways going about it. She wanted to help encourage a change, something that would stick in the future, where I came to the conclusion, I just want to help in anyway I can. In that moment I was capable of making her life a bit easier, and that’s what i wanted to do.