So much to say…

There is so much to say, I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I will start by saying say thank you from the bottom of my heart to Rev. Jean Stairs and all who organized and lead the 2019 El Salvador trip. It was an eye-opening experience that I would highly recommend. Being able to meet with people from new and different places and being able to connect with them in such a way is truly a blessing. I have made many new friendships and connections that I will never forget. The food was completely amazing, and being able to walk outside without a coat on in March was thoroughly enjoyable 🙂 However, my favorite part were the people. There was always someone to talk to or chat with and I found myself able to talk with so many people from so many places in life, whether they be young or little older, Salvadoran or Canadian. El Salvador is such an amazing place, and although it has a bit of a bad reputation due to presence of gangs, I never felt unsafe. The people in El Salvador and from IBE were so kind, loving and welcoming. Though I do admit to being slightly homesick during the second or third day, the Salvadoran people made me feel so at home and welcomed that by the end of the trip the thought of leaving brought tears to my eyes. Learning about the people and their culture and how they lived was extremely eye-opening. In Canada most people have a stable roof over their heads and food to eat, as well as ‘basic necessities’ such as working toilets, fridges, cell phones, schools, gyms, etc. But in El Salvador that is not the same. And although there was extreme poverty the people were so welcoming and happy to share what they had. I find that in Canada people are upset over what now seem like the smallest things. For example, one person may be super upset and outraged that they don’t have a phone, or that their data plan isn’t big enough or they may be upset because they couldn’t get the dress they wanted. In El Salvador many people do not have phones or fancy clothes, and if they have access to the internet it is usually limited. I’m not stating that people in Canada do not have problems (because we do) I just find it …how many people (and I admit I do this much more than I would like to) complain about certain inconveniences that seem so huge, but in comparison are so small. However we are so adjusted to this way of living we don’t realize how lucky we have it, until we don’t. This experience opened my mind and I admit, made me feel guilty and ashamed of the times that I sit there and become frustrated when a website isn’t loading or when I have had a bad day and gotten into arguments with people. Because now I know how truly good I have it. And although the people in El Salvador may not live in quite as much luxury as most Canadians, they seem like such a welcoming and happy people. The people have such a hope in them that I wish I could instill in the entirety of the world. I will miss El Salvador deeply as it has truly made a mark on not only my life, but my heart.
I look forward and hope to go again next year.
Goodbye for now,
-Raven Miller

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