Sunday, July 19, 2009

We Are All the Same

More from our summer series on members of our team. This one is from Becky Zawodny, a longtime friend and a member of our Anawim Home team:

This has been such an exciting summer! I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in May with my MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) and then a few weeks later I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to France with my family. The six of us spent 5 days traveling from city to city in the Provence region of the country before taking a train to Paris for a few more days. Not only was it a spectacular educational experience (as well as a relaxing one!!), but it was also a rare opportunity for my entire family to spend some time together. Although we do all currently live under one roof, everyone is always so busy that sometimes you forget to stop and smell the roses. I felt so lucky to have that time to be with them, laughing about old memories and making new ones.

But of course that was only one week of the summer. I also went on (and survived!) my first camping trip, and in my "down time" I've been doing a variation of Applied Behavioral Analysis with a very special little girl who has Autism. None of this, however, has kept me from trying to prepare myself for what lies ahead in August. I have been interested in social justice and human rights issues for as long as I can remember, and have had a particular interest in the African continent since taking a class on global poverty at Villanova. For quite a few years now I have jumped at every opportunity to travel somewhere new in order to address the issues faced by those who live there, and through my experiences I have learned a great deal about myself and the world.

Since I decided to apply for the trip I've gone through a wide range of emotions, from the exhilaration I felt when I first picked up the application to the anxiety that sometimes sets in when I try to focus on the reality of what it truly means to be a servant. But when I think not only about what I will be doing, but also about the group I am so blessed to be doing it with (a group that includes my sister and younger brother!!) I can't help but feel excited about this adventure.

When I was in India during my senior year of college, on another service trip, one of the most wonderful people I have ever met, "Mother Betsy," said something that will stay with me forever. She said, "We are all the same." I spent so much time reflecting on that because it just made so much sense. We are all the same. We are all human. So those are the words of wisdom I'm taking into this trip. I may not know what to expect, and on the surface I may not seem to have a lot in common with those I meet, but I do know what it means to be human, and I think that's a pretty good place to start.

No comments: