It is one thing to read on a subject, but it is an entirely different matter when you get to experience it. This is a simplified version of how I feel tonight. I’m ecstatic, because I feel as if I’m going to learn not only about myself, but about my country, different people and their ways of life, and that is a wondrous opportunity. At the same time, I want to check my privilege.

I think many people meet others who are not like themselves and tend to question and pry as if the other person they have met are a test subject rather than a human being. I have been guilty of it myself – so lost in the excitement of learning and trying to relate my culture to someone else’s, I have forgotten to pause and see my counterpart for who they are. Yes, culture makes up a lot of a person, but every one is a collection of their experiences, not just their ethnicity. So, although I am excited, curious, and a bit impatient, as well as nervous, I want to caution myself to always see whoever I meet for who they are, and not ‘what’ they are.


  1. Amber says:

    What a thoughtful reflection that can certainly apply to all of ASB and service in general. It’s sometimes difficult to balance the opportunity to learn about ourselves and others through service while respecting and valuing the people we encounter in our work. I’m looking forward to hearing your post-trip account of your experiences in Tennessee!

  2. Lori D'Nicuola Dobson says:

    L’Eunice, if only I had the wisdom and eloquence that you have at your age…. Simply beautiful.

  3. Paul McLoughlin says:

    Listening to others allows you to hear yourself. It’s great to see your reflections about this ASB trip and about encountering others who are different from you. Don’t forget to share your stories, too (and after you have listened) because everyone grows when they open up to others. Vulnerability is an amazing learning tool. Good luck!

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