5 Days and Counting
Is it even possible for us to be prepared for the trip we’re about to embark on in 5 days? So far, I’d have to say no. We’ve spent 8 weeks and countless hours studying genocides and learning about the Lost Boys of Sudan, but I don’t think all the time in the world could prepare me for this trip.
I’ve spent three and a half years at JMU taking classes that have been preselected for me, completing assignments in order to earn a desired GPA, and doing things for everyone but myself. This trip was completely my choice and I could not be more satisfied with it. With that being said, don’t think that I’m not completely terrified about finally going to speak to the Lost Boys that we’ve heard so much about. These men have experienced more at a young age than I will in an entire lifetime and the very thought of this makes me worry that there won’t be enough time in each day to gain any understanding whatsoever. What if I get my facts confused? What if I say the wrong thing? Or worse, what if I have nothing to say at all? I can only hope that I find the courage to speak up and ask questions. I’d like to go into this thinking that the more open I am, the more open everyone else will be.
As I’m still somewhat confused about what we’ll be doing all week, I don’t want to lose sight of why we’re going on this trip and spending so much time learning about a topic that isn’t the most pleasant to speak about. We’re going to make a difference, but making a difference doesn’t end on March 10th when we return to Harrisonburg, but instead will continue through our lives. I hope to be able to speak about this experience with more clarity in order to share some aspects of the stories I will hear (because only those who experienced those stories first hand will be able to convey the true emotions and details). I want to be able to inform people of what we’ve spent so long researching and discussing in class and the most important part of informing others stems from face to face contact with the Lost Boys.
So to those of you planning an exotic spring break in the Dominican or on a cruise in the Bahamas, have fun basking in the sun and remembering your trip only from the pictures you take. I may not be getting exponentially tanner, but this trip to Phoenix, AZ will not only influence me and my life but also hopefully the lives of others beyond skin deep.