Wednesday, June 20, 2007
"Be prepared for an experience that will last a lifetime"
I have read these words for more than 15 years countless times. They come from a sign at the entrance of a camp that has been a very important part of my life. These words have been ingrained in my head and exemplify how I live.
When I am asked to describe my experience in Pommern I will use this phrase: It has been an experience that will last a lifetime. The next question is obvious — why? “Why” is a little harder to answer.
Everyone here knows I have openly complained about this trip. I have complained about team members, the town, food, and especially writing in this journal. Secretly though I have been touched by this trip. Working in the clinic has given me a chance to see healthcare in a form I would never see in the US. Being a spectacle to kids because I am white is something that would never happen in Vermont. The greatest thing though is hanging with people I would never chill with at school. This is what causes the most distress, and my sometimes outward personality. For most people this is a summer trip between school years. Come August they will be back in the rustic mountains of Vermont enjoying the college life at Norwich. For me and other it's our last Hoorah — our last college experience before taking on the world. Come August I will be serving my country in the Army. No more college for more or at least for some time. Knowing how life leads us all on different paths, I wonder if mine will ever intersect again with one of my team members. My biggest fear is leaving Boston and never seeing anyone on this trip again.
Then I realize I probably won't ever see any of these people in Pommern again either. Regardless of how good my intention is for that not to happen.
When I leave Pommern tomorrow I will look back knowing I have left a small fingerprint on this community. What Pommern won't realize is the big one it has left on me.