This was written in July of 2011.
I just got back from a mission trip to Puerto Rico on Saturday. We painted sidewalks to make a neighborhood look cleaner so the locals wouldn’t lose their homes, we served food to the people living in the projects and we experienced an entirely different culture than the one we were used to. The girls played sports and games with the kids at a kid’s club and guys bonded with the men at a rehabilitation center. We hiked through a rain forest and realized we were lost and had to turn around after our feet were all cut up and our legs were covered in mud. But then we found the right way and hiked through the rainforest again but this time on a paved walk that led to a huge waterfall. We enjoyed the gorgeous beaches and went down town to explore the culture of the country. On the first day of our trip, our leader, Steve, asked us what we were hoping to get out of the trip, what our expectations were. I answered, along with a few others, that I was hoping to be humbled. We don’t realize how much we have until we go somewhere that hardly has anything. When I first arrived in Puerto Rico and I saw how I was going to be living for the next week (i.e. sleeping on the floor, 3 minute cold showers due to the water limit on the island), I didn’t know how I was going to do it, since I’m high maintenance and used to sleeping in my comfortable bed and taking hot 15 minute showers. But then I thought, some people have to do this every day. Arecibo, the part of Puerto Rico we went to, isn’t a very wealthy city, but the people who live there are still so thankful for everything they have and they still want to give. I know that sounds so cliche, but I think there’s something all of us can learn from that.