August 7, 2012
From the thoughts of: Kara Blackwell
As much as this experience is new to me still, I can’t help but compare my time this year to my memories from last summer. I appreciate all the lessons and culture that I learned from then, but now that I am doing it for a second time I am viewing everything in a new light… Seeing those things that I missed the first time around. A great example of this is going into town and the market and greeting the locals. Last year I took in their laughter as comedy and even felt a bit like a famous person coming into their neighborhood and making it a “better place,” however now I can see that they are laughing not because they are happy to see us but because they view us as strange as if we are a comic relief for them and that hurts a bit. At the same time, if I were to place myself in their shoes I can completely understand the reason for their reactions.
During this trip I am making a lot of personal connections and discoveries. I look at the people in this neighborhood and see that even though they do not have what we do back home they still are just as happy as we are, if not happier. I love how simple life can be and yet it still be the best life to live. It just goes to show how want differs from need and how money and happiness do not necessarily need to go hand in hand. I am learning a lot from this trip and I am super ready to continue working just as hard to make an impact in the lives of these Comalapans … I am ready to make my life not just be about me but about the people as a whole.