Well, so did the Philippines.
Last semester I came to a stand still. Needing an adventure to somewhere. Somewhere different and preferably far away. I needed to just clear my head and learn who I am, what I want, and learn how to take chances again. While looking through facebook one day, one of my friends posted about going to the Philippines for a Humanitarian trip. $2,000 flat. Beginning of January for 2 weeks. It's always been a distant dream of mine to visit the Philippines since both of my parents served their missions there. I never thought it would happen. I thought about this invitation for about 7 seconds before I felt this strangely new giddiness in my body. I knew I had to go. It was eating away at my mind, heart, and every desire I had. I knew it would change my life and perspective. But I was naive to think I understood how true that would be.
I was a little skeptical. This friend and I only met once, about 4 years ago and haven't talked at all since then. I was nervous, uncomfortable, and felt extremely inadequate. I didn't know anyone going. This opportunity seemed to fall right into my lap stating, "Kjarinda! Look at me! I'm right here! Adventure, learning, hard work..Take a chance one me." And that same giddy feeling kept coming back and pushing me forward. My parents were surprised, but not. I've always been the unpredictable child, never knowing exactly what adventure I would chase down next. How grateful I am for supportive parents who encourage me to follow my heart and dreams.
It was hard work. A lot of hard work. If the physical labor wasn't enough, the cultural barrier is what really got me down sometimes. Not knowing any of their beautiful language to talk to the perfect orphans, I still found ways to play with them, get out of my comfort zone and be touched by these humble people and their even more humble circumstances. I knew from when we walked into that first orphanage the same day we landed, this is exactly where I need to be right now. It was so surreal. I just knew. Every part of me knew, I am where I'm supposed to be.