For those who are unaware, Something Amazing is featuring people who are volunteering in many different places around the world and their experiences and feelings. Here is post #2 from Dani on her recent volunteering/mission trip in Ghana. She explains exactly how many feels after coming home from a volunteer trip. She is a 21 year old Medical Student at Valdosta State:
- Volunteering is something that I have been doing for a hot minute now, and there are so many emotions that I go through every time. If that’s a trip abroad or a trip within the States… it still the same. Just this summer, I went to Ghana with a company called Cross-Cultural Solutions for two weeks. And yet again — same feeling.
1) The feeling of it being just a long dream.
Coming back home is as much of a culture shock then getting there. To be honest I feel more of a culture shock coming home then when going over there. It’s a strange feeling because it makes you realize how much we have. The amount that we take for granted is insane, and the luxurious that we have are incomparable.
It seems like another world, when it’s just in fact — ours. It’s not another world, it’s our world as a whole.
Everything is so different and it’s insane to say the absolute least. You can picture your memories in your head, you have photo evidence, and it really happened.
Coming back seems like you just woke up from a really long dream — It’s back to reality.
Which doesn’t make sense right? — This is reality as much as that was reality. It wasn’t a dream…. but it damn sure feels like one though.
2) The feeling of disappointment
It will always change your life in a “positive” way — they say
I have done many volunteer works in many places, abroad and around the country. The feeling of awestruck and wanderlust kinda just stick with you. You keep these memories close to your heart. These are the ones that you tell the rest of the world about.
For the most part, volunteer trips make a positive impact in your life regardless if that’s due to the cultural immersion, the projects you work on, or the people you interact with.
But this time, it was a little different.
I feel disappointed.
No, not cause of the trip, or my time abroad. It’s cause it opened up my eyes to how much we suck.
I’m disappointed in us.
Us — as in “Americans” — and I put quotes around it because I don’t just mean the people in this area. I’m talking about people in general, no matter what country they are from…
The one’s who decide to turn their head when they see poverty. The one’s that choose to be in their own little world, and refuse to open up to the rest of this amazing place we call Earth. The one’s that are so consumed with their life, that they can’t open it to others. The one’s that close their mind, and don’t see what’s really out there.
The sad reality is, coming back home made me realize HOW MANY people are like that.
and it’s disappointing.
3) The feeling of confusion
The fact is, we are better off in one area of the world and we have so many resources and means to things. I was one of 16 others out of this side of the world to go to Ghana through this company. Compared to the pure population in the United States alone, the amount that volunteer in a place abroad is so minuscule it genuinely breaks my heart.
Why does it have to be like that? — I’m just so confused.
Our land is as much theirs, as theirs is ours. Well, in the grand scheme of things. We’re all human. Human.
It’s the need. The need just to get everyone on the same page.
No — not on and socialistic standard, or any politically affiliated idealism. I’m talking about the human standard… The achievement of happiness, of unity, and the respect of all life no matter where or who you come from.
It really opened up my eyes to how much we need to change, how much we need to grow, and how much we need to learn.
We’re all the same species you know? — we have the same biological systems, the same make up, the same basic human needs and wants.
So why doesn’t everyone just help out their fellow human? — I’m just so confused.
4) The feeling of being useless
It felt as if you didn’t even change anything. Yeah, I might have dug some trenches in my day, I might have helped a student read, I might have helped someone walk again, but it feels like I haven’t done anything. The needs are so great, and I can only do so much. One person can only do so many things.
I feel so useless. — like what I’m doing isn’t changing anything, and there is too much suffering and pain in this world for us to overcome. There is so much to do and I feel so overwhelmed with emotions. I feel so small and I feel so…useless.
But the thing is… those relationships that you build with people, the laughs that you share, the stories that you tell, the tears you shed and the comfort you find in others… that’s what matters. That’s what is useful. We might not be able to end world hunger in a snap of our finger. But we can feed those around us. It doesn’t have to be with food either, we can enrich those around us spiritually, emotionally, and much more. We have to be there for each other and we have to make the ones around us the best that they can be, so that they can in turn do the same to those around them. So really in fact, we are all useful.
5) The feeling of not having a home
The home is where the heart is.
My heart reaches out to the Nicaraguans in La Chuscada getting their school built. My heart reaches out the the Afghan students learning how to read and write. My heart reaches out to the Ghanan physiotherapy patients learning how to walk again. My heart reaches out to every American that is on the street begging for their only dollar. My heart reaches out to the kids at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta battling whatever they got as hard as they can. My heart reaches out to all the other hearts that feel pain, and feel empty.
So if the home is where the heart is….
I don’t have a specific home. — None of us should have a home, and by that I don’t mean a place to lay your head down. Everyone needs that, but not all actually have it. None of us should have a set place for our heart, our hearts should flow into others and show that only love can save this world. The world that we can all call home.
Jill here again: share, comment, and like Dani’s love and passion as she travels. Make sure you are following our
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