Todays the last of journals from our summer youth trip. The first is from a "newcomer" to gibtk. She was introduced gibtk by longtime friends and partners Jen and Lauren.
Quinn decided to come for almost a full month as a intern. The time I spent with her proved her to be an amazing fun girl.
"Today we went to the see the families who lived in the country outside of Da Nang. Tommy told me to prepare for this day, but I don't think I could've ever been ready for it. I mean I've heard of all this before, people living in these tin houses with no bathrooms, but it is not till you see it that you're like oh my gosh this is real. People actually live like this.
It was an amazing experience to watch the reactions of the families when they learned they were getting a new house, especially the mothers because now they will have an actual house for their babies. It's something I take for granted every day having a bathroom inside and having my own bedroom.
It really puts life into perspective because it's something we just automatically expect to have, but it is truly a privilege. My favorite part of the day for sure was playing with the children. Gosh, I think it is so amazing when god surrounds you with amazing people who are able to teach you and help you grow!
I've been learning a lot about the " universal love language," and I was so stoked that I got to experience one of them today. Although I couldn't communicate with them through words, I did with laughter and smiles. The feeling I got by just spending a little quality time with them blowing bubbles and laughing for sure is something I'll never forget because it was just pure love and energy we were exchanging."
The second is from Alicia; her twin came a couple years ago. It was fun watching the kids who knew her sister figure out it was not the same... LOL, Both young ladies I believe were not only "marked" but impacted all they came into contact with.
"We have been in Vietnam for a few days now, but I can't stop thinking about the girls in Cambodia. I miss them. They really know how to welcome people and make them feel so special. They are just bursting with love and excitement for life and it is all because of GIBTK.
I mean the homes in Cambodia have only been up and running for about 4 years now and some of the girls in there are still in grade school and some are as old as 17, maybe a little older. So, that means that all of them not even 4 years ago were living in unimaginable circumstances as teenagers. Yet, when I met them it was hard to wrap myself around the fact that they had not grown up like this.
You would not even be able to tell that they had been born into and lived a tough life before they moved into the two homes, because they were just so happy. We were dancing, laughing, and singing and gosh it was just so fun.
One thing that really stuck with me was when I was talking to this girl and I asked her " do you like school?" and she said " of course, that's why I am here." I kind of felt dumb for asking it because of course these girls love school.
It's not just school to them it's also freedom. Freedom from their past and freedom to be who they want not just what their parents were. Once again something I took for granted my whole life was being able to go to school thinking the whole time it was basically entitled to me to go because that's what kids do here go to school. I wish I 'd learned this earlier; education is a privilege not a right.
Also I met this young lady who was a senior in high school and she was taking calculus. I did not even take that till last year, which was my sophomore year of college. Oh and also she was doing calculus without a graphing calculator, which is so amazing.
These girls are so talented and I am so beyond happy that they can now grow and help change their country and the world!"