How My Service Trip Changed My Life

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

This winter break I traveled to Jinotega, Nicaragua, to teach children English.  It was the best experience of my life. I went with an organization called Outreach360 and also a wonderful group of students from William and Mary. It was a week filled with complete happiness and joy. Nothing else in the world really seemed to matter. I don't think people realize the amount of peace and joy that comes from serving others.

I was terrified to go.  I didn't know what to expect and I barely knew the group I was going with.  I had no idea that this would be a life changing experience. And yes, that sounds cliché but its true.  After this trip, I realized that I definitely want to spend my life serving others.  There is no greater amount of happiness than the amount I felt in Nicaragua.  It is a very forgiving, honest, and welcoming community that I had the pleasure to be a part of. 

It is summer there but everyday the children would line up outside waiting to get into the learning center.  Just to see their will to learn was eye opening.  Their loud laughter still echoes in my mind and never fails to make me smile a little brighter.

No, I was not able to change the world in one week.  I didn't want to. I went to serve the people of Nicaragua and little by little Outreach360 does affect their lives.  It was not only that they learned a few new words but also that they smiled that day.  They were able to see the joy in life and in learning.  I encourage everyone to participate in a service trip because it is truly rewarding.