Ever since this trip ended I was thinking about what I would write on this reflection. It’s actually a rather difficult process of scanning through the entire trip and picking a moment impact on me. I think this impact began before we even left ISB. I had been struggling with my wants, I knew that what I wanted was not what I necessarily needed but it seemed incredibly important to me at the time. By the end of this trip nothing really seemed to matter any more. The cell phones we had handed in to “disconnect to connect” did not have the value they had before. This trip helped me to realize the importance of connecting and living in the moment. This altered mind set came about because of a personal challenge.

I had challenged myself to connect with one child in particular. I thought it was going to be difficult because we won’t speak the same language. Near the end of first day this language barrier had proved itself to be a challenge. I felt incapable of connecting with these kids, let alone teaching them simple english. Right before we left the school on the first day a little girl in a purple snow jacket walked up and stood next to me. I remember thinking how beautiful she was and how I already saw her potential as she stood next to me with her face to the ground in a dirty purple snow jacket with purple fur around the hood. Then she looked up at me and asked “purple” and she pointed to her jacket. And I replied “yes” with a smile.

The next day she came up to me and asked me with hand gestures to play badmintan with her. As we were playing several girls would walk up to her and try to take her racket away. I knew something was not right but it was only later that i found out she was being bullied. This broke my heart but I felt helpless to change anything.

What I began to think about was how I could help this little girl. All I knew about her home life is that she lived around the corn field. I knew her school was disorganized and her chances of leaving this town are slim. I knew I had had a connection with her and I knew I needed to do something. I came to the conclusion that I could love her and I could give her my tennis shoes and a jacket. This was a very small gesture but it helped me to realize the unimportance of material goods. IT helped me to realize the importance of connecting and i thank God that I had challenged myself before the trip. This small gesture was hopefully helpful to her but it definitely made me think about interacting with people everyday and material goods.

As far as interactions, it taught me that the least I could do is love someone. I felt a simple and yet deep connection to this little girl. We had bonded even though there was a communication issue, and it made me think about the people in my life that speak the same language and I don’t have this connection with.

As far as material goods, this girl showed me that even in a dirty purple snow jacket your personality can shine. It helped me to realize I don’t need the latest macbook. The things in life that really matter are the bonds.

It’s amazing how what seemed to be the biggest challenge ended up being the biggest blessing.

I will never forget the moment when she looked up at me with her big brown eyes, in her dirty purple snow jacket and asked if the color was purple. She changed my life.