A Post by Zack Gaskell

I purposely made the attempt to have no expectations of what my experience in Uganda was going to be like.  I had heard many other people’s experiences with their experiences on service trips and they weren’t as they had wanted. They had explained to me that they had  a desired experience they expected to have solidified in their head before the trip had even begun and it didn’t turn out they way they wanted. My idea was to go in expecting the entire spectrum of things that it could possibly be. I told myself that I would see and do as much as I possibly could and make the experience for myself, and that’s exactly what I did.

We have been back for a little over two months and many people ask me how my trip was. The first thing that I always say is, “ as cliché as it is to say that it was life changing experience there is no other words that I can put to it”.  For me, it has been pretty difficult to describe the trip because there were so many things that I took note of and it’s hard to remember everything. What I find hard is that people don’t have the expected reactions to what I tell them. To me the experience was one of the best I have had in my life. It was very eye opening and humbling to be a part of a culture for two weeks that operates very differently from that of the United States. Words just do not give the experience a fair description of how it was for me.

The first week home was sort of a struggle for me. I started to compare everything in my head. When I say I compared everything I mean everything; food, weather, and mostly the attitudes of people. It was hard for me to see little children talk back to their parents on Christmas day and just being brats.

What I feel that I got most out of the trip was that the amount of patience I have has grown to a whole new level and it brought me to the ground. It made it easier to put myself in other people situations and really understand how other people live. It’s hard to read about things that are happening in the world in magazines and books and not actually seeing them and trying to put yourself in their shoes. This is what I learned most.

Interested in volunteering with us? Summer 2013 applications are due on February 28th. Fill one out today! http://www.pangeaeducation.org/volunteer/

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