Ever since my medical service trip, I’ve been unusually chipper, revitalized, social (good grief, beyond belief)… less self-conscious, less inhibited, less afraid— things I haven’t felt in such magnitude since my early college years. What in the world happened that week?
Was it appreciating the fragility of life, the value of health? Being humbled by the people I met, touched by stories of hardships endured? Amazing to drink in, difficult to swallow. A rollercoaster of cynicism and hope.
Was it the warm welcome of countless strangers’ smiles? The self-reflection and self-appraisal?
The petite old lady who serenaded us in Spanish with a wavering voice of gratitude? The woman who stripped off her earrings, necklace, and rings with wrinkled hands and insisted, insisted that we take it because “don’t worry, I can get more in Mexico.”
The grandfather, uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension— without legs, without sight, without morale. Pero, llena de vida, llena de vida.
Could something as relatively ephemeral as a spring break have affected me that much? Maybe. Time will tell, I guess.