I am always learning. Each day I find something new to ponder and work through in my thoughts. It’s interesting to me how different things affect different people, how some interactions leave a lasting impression while others are gone with the wind. El Salvador has been an amazing journey for me for many reasons; the food, the incredible resilience in the people, and the cultural differences. We have explored, eaten great and interesting new foods, and have been living life in what people consider a third-world part of the globe.

However, a huge and impactful part of this journey for me has been the other Americans that I have been sharing this incredible experience with. To be perfectly honest with myself, people have much more of an influence on me than my independent-minded self wants to admit. I thrive when others thrive, I feel what others feel, and I fall in love with what other people are passionate about. This, combined with a divine curiosity for the world around me, has truly defined how I travel and what kind of memories I make.

Here we are, aliens crash landing on a foreign planet… hoping for the best, preparing for the confusing, and laughing with each other along the way. The ten of us (including Anna) have been developing together the way a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. In lieu of being cliché, we are ten individuals who are entirely different and separate, but one thing connects us all. This thing is strong, forgiving, passionate, and important; this thing is that all of us truly care.

Whether we are interested in Spanish… or not. Whether we are invested in humanitarian work… or not. We all care and we are connected by that very fact. We have been having such incredible conversations about the things we have been experiencing together and I can truly see how sensitive and interested these people are in the world around them. I admire my new friends with a great gumption and lots of love from the inner workings of my heart.

With a bit of sadness I reflect upon the fact that this trip is halfway over. But with a smile shining on my face and my soul beaming with comraderie and friendship I know that this isn’t over. The work we are doing here and together… this is only the beginning.