New Experiences

Hi, my name is Andrew Bodlak. I’m originally from Colorado Springs, but found myself in Omaha for the course of my college career. I am studying Neuroscience with hopes to go to medical school after I graduate next year. However, when I heard about the backpack journalism course my freshman year – a then-senior named Nico came into my freshman orientation class and showed us the backpack journalism film that had been shot in Alaska that year – I knew that I would have to delve into my journalistic psyche in order to participate in the next trip. The opportunity was too precious to miss. Particularly, I am excited to listen to all of the stories that we will uncover on our trip. To be with the South Sudanese refugees, to reflect on their life experiences – to absorb. I am an idealist: I can get discouraged when I see things in my world which are deviated from the “what should be”, in what I would argue is an objective sense. For example, I think that it is never okay to exploit someone for your own personal gain, no matter the culture, circumstance, etc.

My point is, I will learn a lot from people who are undoubtedly plunged into a chaos of deviation from the ideal. I’d dare to wager that for some of the people we meet, their concept of should be might be turned into a desperate could this ever be? For someone like myself, whose hardest experience in life was moving to college (where I had ready access to wonderful food, housing, and family), the comprehensive phenomenology of a refugee’s suffering is far beyond my mental sympathetic capabilities. I simply don’t have to experience to fully understand their experience. I only hope that I can step a little closer during the course of the trip, maybe enough to catch a spark of empathy – note the “e” – such that would smoulder in my heart for the rest of my life.

Praying for transformation and a set of open ears to accompany an open heart.

About Andrew Bodlak

A soon-to-be senior at Creighton University. I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and still hold a love for the city and state as a whole. I love going back and seeing the mountains, the Tesla store in Denver, and the hustle and bustle of I-25. I am a Neuroscience major at Creighton University, a major choice which has brought much fruit into my life. While is can be very challenging at times, I have learned to love a good challenge - especially when I get to the top of the metaphorical hill and look back on all that has been accomplished. This definitely applies to tough courses, but also to real life. For example, I have been in a long distance relationship with the most wonderful woman in the world for three years now - this was admittedly a LARGE challenge - but I appreciate the challenge nonetheless. As a side note, she is moving to Omaha for a masters program next year, so I am approaching that mountaintop of relief very soon. Five cheers of joy! Woohoo!

1 thought on “New Experiences

  1. Andrew, I like that Nico showing you the film struck that spark in you. You will be the one in the future telling the story of the journey. I am glad you will be with us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *