By Jocelyn Malpica, DCIS-Montbello
What I experienced in Africa is something that I wish I could really live every single day. Many kids my age are not able to have such an amazing opportunity as I was very fortunate to have. The people I saw, and the things I saw, will never leave my mind. What I experienced was life-changing but I can’t help feel that it was more than that.
The people I met were just so incredible, and I couldn’t believe some of the stories I was told. One of my goals in going to Africa was to discover things that I wouldn’t find in textbooks, and I feel as if I definitely accomplished that. I couldn’t help but feel like I did not leave them empty-handed either. I remember leaving a good friend of mine in tears after telling her how amazing and strong she was. I was encouraging her to continue her dreams of becoming a nurse, just as she had pushed me to continue mine.
What I found the most inspiring were the powerful women I met along the way. Women who go out of their way to help those in their community. These women have opened my eyes to stepping up and being a leader in my community and school.
As for my family, it was hard for them to let me go, particularly my dad. I was the first girl born in my family, so of course I was going to get a little more attention than my brothers did. When I brought up that I had this opportunity, he looked at me like I was just pulling his leg. Eventually he came around and allowed me to go. My grandpa thought my dad was crazy for letting me go, but he just told him that I am growing, and he won’t be able to protect me from everything. He felt like this was a good opportunity and he didn’t want to hold me back from such an amazing offer.
I promised everyone I met that I will come back and visit them again soon. Africa was one of my best experiences of my whole life, and one that will never leave my mind.
Photo credit: Campfire Creative