25 Apr

Honduras, Mom. I'm going to Honduras...

Yes, it's true. I am finishing up my undergraduate degree here at The Catholic University of America and after four years of training my vocal chops and performing all over the DMV area, I am taking my talents and moving to Trujillo, Honduras for 16 months to complete long-term service in a foreign country. "But it's crazy! It's dangerous! That's so much time! There are people to serve here in the United States!" I am fully aware of these things, and however shocking it may be, I still feel called to be in this little area of the world serving the 100 or so students and their families.

It all began after a mission trip to Punta Gorda, Belize for 10 days with 9 other crazy missioners serving the St. Peter Claver Church and School community. I'm not sure I can properly describe the amount of love and care you can feel for people you've only known for less than 2 weeks, and yet it happened. There is something totally unique about entering into a new place with new people, completely vulnerable and dependent on their good will and welcoming arms. To make this more specific, I never felt so comfortable in a place that I seemingly had no business feeling comfortable in. For all I knew, I was flown out to a new place with very little water pressure, no A/C, no internet access, no supermarket, no car, no family; A number of things that I utilize or see on a regular basis and with ease. You'd expect that I would have been scared out of my mind, but the beautiful thing is I never felt freer and more at peace than when I was immersed in Belizean life and culture, living in solidarity with these amazing people.

I am forever grateful for that experience, and now two years later, it has been the driving force for my decision to take on a larger role in serving across the world. There's something to be said about sharing your story and listening to the stories of others. It's  incredibly special, if I'm being honest. I was able to do that in just 10 days with several Belizeans, and now it's something I have been able to implement in my life living in the States. Now that I will be away for 16 months, I can't imagine all the stories I'm going to hear! As a friend of mine once pointed out to me, "we're all just human." Yeah, that's simple and obvious, but often underrated and ignored. It's our common humanity that allows us to do these "wild, crazy, and dangerous" things. Don't misunderstand, I'm not traveling to Honduras so I can finally answer the burning question of whether I'm a human or a dolphin, I'm just saying that I am so incredibly inspired by those who can live out their lives authentically and unapologetically, especially when those lives are interrupted by people like me, a foreigner. I am so appreciative of my family in Belize for showing me that and I look forward to sharing a similar authenticity in Honduras.

Just know this, it certainly was not a decision taken lightly. There were numerous factors, and many times I thought about just ignoring it all and hiding in my parents' basement indefinitely. The thing is, I've noticed in my life that whether consciously or not, I have always been a pretty good judge of doing what I think is right for me. I can point to my college decision process and how I made the decision to go to Catholic University primarily because it "felt right." It was home here and I didn't need any other reason to convince me otherwise. I know that's strange to hear and I'm sorry it's not something to do with the great academics or faculty or the beautiful campus. I just knew it was the place for me.

The same goes for choosing to join the Finca. I can't really point to a better reason for why I'm choosing to leave my home in the United States except that I just know it's the place for me right now. I sat in the pew of Caldwell Chapel, thought over and over again on all the things that should be preventing me from wanting to do this, prayed, and eventually wrote my acceptance to the organization. I stared at it for a good while. So much weight on my life for such small words. I pressed "SEND," and I haven't stopped smiling since.

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