Friday, January 8, 2010

Fariba from Jamaica January 7

I would have to say that one of the most memorable points of this trip happened when we went to a small girls' home the other day. I was told the girls living and studying there are victims of sexual abuse. They were removed from their homes and families and placed here for safety and ultimately hope for a better life and future. These girls were not here out of choice, rather because someone or, in some cases, multiple people put them through pain and harm which forced them to leave everything and anything familiar. It was heart-wrenching to hear some of the stories of what these girls had been through. I became very close to one girl in particular; she opened up to tell me she had been raped three times in her sixteen years of life. I froze when hearing those words. I have never been in such a situation and I honestly did not know what to say. So I listened. She told me she isn't going to let those things affect the rest of her life in a negative way. She was going to keep smiling and rise above all the negativity and suffering. She said that what she really wants to do is speak the word of God to those around her. She wants to be the one to give strength and wisdom to others during their times of difficulty. I couldn't believe it. This sixteen-year-old girl who had been through things I could never even imagine was looking to move beyond it and remain strong and faithful. This was the highlight of the day for me. At that moment, I felt so honored and grateful to be where I was. I am so thankful that I spent a little more time talking with and getting to know this young girl. It's during moments like these that we realize how important it is to not only talk but also just listen to others. By opening our ears and hearts to other individuals, we give so much. And, we get so much. Sometimes, all someone needs is a friend to talk to and share their thoughts with. What I will take with me from this trip is that, in addition to continuing to work hard and pursue my goals of becoming a physician and helping those less fortunate in similar situations, but I will also remember to be a good listener along the way and when I do reach that point. I want to be a physician to whom my patients are comfortable revealing themsleves and with whom they will share aspects of their lives. This is my goal thanks to the experiences I have been so fortunate enough to have here in Jamaica.
Fariba K.

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