Sunday, July 26, 2015

Gratitude as the Mantra of the Last Two Weeks

Hello friends!

We are finally closing in on the last two weeks of this summer adventure. It has been a long journey and one filled with a lot of growth, laughter, friendships, and experiences.

This was my first experience abroad and I have learned a lot about myself, especially from the people around me.

Janice is one of Ms. Carol's best friends.She’s 65 and in great shape. She has so much energy and happiness that exudes from her very core. I walk with her for four miles, four times a week. Janice told me about her strength through Jesus, the role women play in Trini, and how much she values her independence. Surprisingly in Trini, the women are dominant in every career apparently, and the men are no longer seen as the breadwinners. They are strong, independent women that empower others. Janice told me two powerful quotes; “When I was age 4, I saw my mother cooking and cleaning, and I knew that that wasn’t the life for me. I knew that at age 4” and “You can take everything from me, but I will not have you take my independence from me.” I think I am still trying to digest those two ideas. I am still trying to understand my womanhood, or more importantly my personhood. I also conceptually understood how important independence is, but I don’t know if I’ve placed it n the highest priority. And I wonder why that is, and if maybe that means that I truly don’t understand what independence is for myself. 

Ms. Carol is our host mom and she has been an amazing. She cooks for us three times a week and often invites us to lime with her family. She is so sweet, her sweetness embraces you and holds you in this place that I learned to call home. Her eyes twinkle with happiness and her smile is so bright! I am so lucky to have had such a gracious host! She is always saying how she just wants to make people happy. It is through her actions that I have learned a lot about the difference between a host and a giver. It's one thing to provide a home and some food. But it is another thing to go above and beyond what is expected in order to make us feel like more than guests, like family.

Mr. Michael is our host dad! At first he was very quiet and seemed reserved. But once you got him talking he just doesn't stop. He love to research.... everything! His thirst for knowledge and his journey to think for himself is inspiring. There isn't a conversation that we have that doesn't end with a deep analysis of whatever the topic is. On top of being a free thinker, he also is such a goof ball! He enjoys life in the smallest of moments. He cracks jokes, bobs to the beat of his favorite music, and sneaks a smile in every moment. 

These three people have been a part of this journey with me. They have helped me without even knowing it. And I know, that these relationships are to go beyond this summer. Janice already made me promise to invite her to my wedding, Ms. Carol wants me to come back to her 60th birthday party, and Mr. Michael is my facebook friend where we have casual conversations. The only thing left to say is thank you. Thank you Janice for motivating me to keep up with you on our four mile excursions at 5 in the morning and for opening my eyes even further to value my independence. Thank you Ms. Carol for showing me the value of friendship and human connections. Thank you Mr. Michael for pushing me to try to form my own opinion and to not be afraid to break from the pack. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Me, Mr. Michael, and Chloe

Me, Janice, Ms. Carol, and Chloe 

No comments:

Post a Comment