When I got up to pack this morning at 5 a.m. I was struck by the act of packing. In a way I was packing for just another trip; shirts check, pants check, toothbrush and paste check and check, and the list goes on. But while my hands may have been packing for an ordinary trip, in my mind I was preparing for a life changing journey.
As I pack I run the gamut of emotions from excited to nervous to impatient. I feel like I’m on the cusp of a rare experience that I will carry with me to the grave, altering the way I see the world and its population forever. I feel fortunate to have taken a trip before this one that resulted in a radical change in life direction, ultimately leading me to Creighton University. And I recognize the similarity between the feelings I felt before that trip and what I am feeling now.
I am excited to learn about the people we will meet and the issues they face. In class yesterday we watched a short documentary about young men traveling to the Mexican-U.S. Border. I thought about the privilege I have by virtue of where I was born and the color of my skin that I will most likely never have to make a trek as terrifying or difficult as theirs. I know that I would never want my brother to be in the position of having to choose between gang life and a bloody death on the street and thus I can’t imagine the pain these families experience watching their young men grow up.
I look forward to hearing the stories of the people we meet and hopefully being able to tell them in a respectful manner. I don’t know how this trip will change me, I can only hope to be ready for the potential changes.