Life changing story after 10 years

It has been ten years since I got on a plane with two of my best friends and flew far away to achieve one of my lifelong goals: volunteering in Africa. Spending that summer of 2010 in Ghana changed me in ways, I didn’t even realize I needed to or could change. Often I felt like we were on a “save the children” commercial. It was devastating and heartbreaking to realize we knew so little about the world. We are so privileged. We lived in an orphanage and taught school while there, and those kids became our own. Had we had room, we would have flown every single one back with us. I hated that I couldn’t do more. It drove me insane that I had nearly nothing to give them, but knowing it was a good thing, we were there entirely. At least, that is what we told tell ourselves.

Just showing those children love, attention, and human contact meant so much to them, and it changed the person I am. Their smiles were contagious, and their eagerness to learn was refreshing. They didn’t see their lives as miserable or hard but as opportunity and life in everything. It was wonderful. I wish I could have given them the world. Instead, they changed mine. They also never sweat, which we were very jealous of.

Often I felt like we were on a “save the children” commercial. It was devastating and heartbreaking to realize we knew so little about the world. We are so privileged. We lived in an orphanage and taught school while there, and those kids became our own. Had we had room, we would have flown every single one back with us. I hated that I couldn’t do more. It drove me insane that I had nearly nothing to give them, but knowing it was a good thing we were there… At least, that is what we told tell ourselves.

Just showing those children love, attention, and human contact meant so much to them, and it changed the person I am. Their smiles were contagious, and their eagerness to learn was refreshing. They didn’t see their lives as miserable or hard. They saw the opportunity and experience of everything. It was wonderful. I wish I could have given them the world. Instead, they changed mine. They also never sweat, which we were very jealous of. 

Rereading letters home and blog posts have reminded me just how much the experience altered me as a person. It was an emotional roller coaster that never came down. I have never cried so much in such a period. In all reality, it made me a more grateful person. Grateful to know that we ALL have a Father in Heaven that is entirely aware of us. My kids are in Ghana and everywhere else in the world. He knows them and loves them so much. They know it too, which is a fantastic part.

 

 

 

 

Writer: Kendra Haynie Walser 2010 (KLM)

 

 

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