This excerpt was taken from an entry in my personal journal that was written this past winter break in Senegal, Africa. It highlights the most powerful service that I’ve ever experienced, visiting a local African orphanage of babies ranging from ages one to five.
Senegal, Africa. 12/22/2011
“It’s amazing… the irony that the most powerful connection I’ve ever had with another human being may have never emerged without a language barrier. There’s this energy that existed between us that, instead of being connected by logic and reasoning from words, was built by joy and genuine love from the heart. This deep desire that both of us had to understand the other just from playing allowed our relationship to reach such a high level. There’s this idea of equality that’s established because of this, even though I had came to serve him. Not one of us was more superior than the other because we were each just focused on understanding the other. This idea makes me so humble. I’m in no way superior to this little African boy who is allowing me to learn increasingly more about him with every moment. These efforts of trying to understand him made me feel so naïve about any other individual’s way of life besides my own, but I love it. […] The compilation of these moments is what makes trips worth it and productive. These are the real memories. This is what I’m going to take away. The moments which have been the most real have been connecting with the villagers through mutual joy. The trip to the orphanages has taught me that so much of life consists of suffering from confusion and pain. Within this, though, are moments that we can’t afford to miss, moments that make everything worth it, and I need to do a better job of acknowledging those.”