Nine months, 7 Continents, 67 planes, myself, my cousin and my mom. To put it bluntly, we traveled the World. To make it sound as good as it was, we captured the essence of each culture in the 25 countries we visited. We met dozens of people in a Korean-English mass in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, and enjoyed the views of the kids running around atop, “Oscar’s Hill” at Amigos de Jesús in Honduras. Thanks to my mom’s magnificent planning skills, my cousin and I were able to experience things we could only read about in Pennsylvania. We explored the continent and peninsula of Antarctica, the beautiful views of New Zealand, the ruins of Luxor, the grasslands of Kenya and Tanzania, and many cities.
Though it was incredible being a tourist during most of the trip, the truly eye opening experiences came from working with underprivileged kids in both Costa Rica and Honduras. In Costa Rica we spent five hours, five days a week, playing with, and watching over kids in the most financially deprived area of San Jose. They were wonderful kids, and although their home life was not as healthy as most, they still came into the daycare with a smile on their face.
This was similar to Amigos de Jesus, a children’s home in Honduras, with the exception that the Honduran kids live on the property that includes dorms, a soccer field, a farm, and a mess hall. Because of the coup in 2009 the economy spiraled out of control, and many parents could not care for their children, so they simply didn’t and left them on the sides of streets. That is where the people of Amigos de Jesus came in. They gave food, water, shelter, a new family, and hope to kids who had to fend for themselves at a young age. Our job was to interact with the kids, as well as help build and organize the new library. After four weeks, our time with the kids came to an end, and we headed home for good, and I knew as we touched land back at the Philly Airport, this was truly a year to remember.