Monday, April 4, 2011

Jonathan's Post-Trip reflection

A prophecy from the Hopi tribe states, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” I have this belief that our generation will someday inspire and be part of a revolution towards peace in the world. This belief was solidified even more while in Guatemala. I truly felt that I was part of change for the village of Patanatic. It has become somewhat of a joke with my friend that I “want to change the world.” In recent conversations and through my Guatemalan experience, I have realized that everyone changes the world in their own way. For me becoming a doctor is just one way that I see myself being part of change in the world. This trip has reaffirmed my goal of becoming a doctor. I learned so much from wonderful teachers. There are no words to thank them for what they taught me. From this experience, I have become so much more self-aware and thankful for everything that I have. While walking around from house to house checking water filters, I realized how lucky I am to live in the house I do. Families of five or more share a one room house where dogs and even chickens run loose. I could not imagine myself living like this, and yet there was not a single complaint from people we met, only smiles. As people came in and out of the clinic each day, at times they had to wait hours just to see the doctor. My mother can attest to the fact that after only half an hour I get up and question the receptionist about how much longer. Again, not one person complained or became upset about waiting. They actually took the chairs that we had set up in a line and moved them into a circle to better enjoy each other’s company. I learned the most from one short conversation with our translator’s father. He was speaking about how the Mayan culture is full of so much energy and life. During the war in Guatemala those who wore the traditional Mayan garb were persecuted. But now, many people are now moving back to wearing the traditional clothing. He said there must be tolerance between different religious beliefs for the world to be at peace. After thinking about this for a while, I thought how true this view is. Religious tolerance is so exploited is by our society today. Tolerance is taking an isolationist view of others’ religions and cultures. If we want to learn and become at peace we must celebrate other beliefs and cultures. Before this conversation Mishel and Diana’s father took the time to thank the entire group. He told us that we are planting the seeds for the tree that will one day bear fruit. These are words that will stick with me for the rest of my life. “One Day” is my mantra or motto from which I draw my inspiration and determination to serve others. To me this statement means that “One Day” a change will come. It may not be today and we may not see the fruits of our labor, but we, in some way have started to spin the wheels toward change for society.