Jamie is a sophomore at Lauralton Hall in Milford, CT who attended her first School the World trip this February.
Guatemala was one of the most inspiring and life changing experiences I have ever had. Being in a foreign country without family can be intimidating and scary at the same time. For me, it was even more difficult knowing I would be spending my 16th birthday on this trip without them. Going in, I was unsure of how everything would pan out and how spending this long period of time away from family and friends would be. The week to come changed everything for me. In Guatemala the sense of community and willingness to help whenever and wherever was needed was so inspiring and is something I have tried to bring to my own home. While working, children at the age of four would pick up brooms without being asked and begin sweeping the classrooms we were finishing for them. The trip opened my eyes and made me realize how much I take for granted everyday and how I should value my education and family more than I do now. We created so many bonds on this trip and formed relationships with all of the village children, creating so many memories I will never ever forget. This is a photo of me and Maria Jose, the most fun-loving and outgoing kid we met on the trip. She was always ready to be tickled and played with; I will never forget how many great times we had together. What's ironic is that we went there to change their lives, and came back with them changing ours.