In one week, I'm going to Haiti.
I'm going to teach sq. foot gardening, maybe a little English, maybe love on a few little kids who need some love. I don't know, I'm not sure exactly how it will all work, I just know that I think my life is going to change forever in a week.
I've never been to a third world country---a stopover in Mexico while on a cruise was the closest I have ever come, and it wasn't exactly rustic, if you know what I mean.
There aren't many experiences in my life that have been life changing. I can think of a few---working with 3 quadriplegics for almost 2 years, becoming a mother, and, yes, getting diagnosed with PKD--but by and large, life's ups and downs are small hills rather than big mountains. I have a feeling that Haiti will be like Mt. Everest in terms of defining moments.
When I was in college, I strapped on a backpack and wandered through Europe. I knew what I looked like---a fresh faced college student who, at age 20, thought she was the coolest thing to hit the Autobahn (although I didn't actually get to drive on the autobahn, I was just a passenger, and I look back now and wonder, WHY didn't I ask to drive?). I was sort of fearless, in the way that only a college student can be.
Well, I'm not a college student anymore, I'm a mother, and not as fearless. I've seen more, hurt more, loved more, and know more than I did back then, and I wonder how I will look to the 20 year old college students I will be traveling with. Oh yes, it is a student group who is doing spearheading this--who else would take on such a challenge? I know what it feels like to be a headstrong student--the world is your oyster, your playground, something to conquer. After all, you have nothing to lose.
I'm really looking forward to this trip, not only to learn things about Haiti, the people, and to hone my gardening skills, but to also rediscover something inside of me, something that I hope hasn't been lost forever as I've grown older. I'd like to rediscover my fearlessness, and feel the freedom that comes from that.
I'll let you know what I find.