May 13th, Justine Gosselin: A change in attitude

It`s crazy to think it`s already our last day here. The basketball court is done and may I say looks amazing, I`m so proud of the team for getting it done, and hope the kids and the community enjoy it for years to come.

Thinking about it now the time has flied by and it`s hard to believe I learned as much as I did not only about the island, my host family, but also about myself and the world around me. This experience really pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me personally about germs, bugs, language barriers and how to overcome them, and trust.

The first 2 are pretty obvious as I used to have O.C.D about germs and still don`t like feeling dirty as well as bathrooms that aren`t squeaky clean. This added on to how dirty I got when I worked at the school inspired a change in me with a little bit of resistance but an ability to adapt. The bugs is an ongoing battle as I`m still terrified to walk at night because of scorpions and check me mosquito net every time before I go to sleep.

Otherwise the language barrier really challenged me because I was by myself with my host family and didn`t remember much of the Spanish that I learned in high school. At first it was really hard to connect and I got frustrated but once I realized that it got better every day and you don’t necessarily need words to communicate I started to feel much better and started to connect with my family and learn more and more without much frustration or feeling foolish.

Trust was an interesting personal barrier because in this situation you just get thrown in and meet your family and have to automatically get used to the idea of leaving all of your things in their house while they have to trust you as a visitor in their house. At first I wasn`t comfortable with leaving my stuff in their house but after a few days I not only got comfortable with it but trusted the family and saw that trust returned. This change happened without me even realizing that it had until much later.

Overall this experience has been amazing and moved me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. I`m so glad to be sharing it with this group and would like to especially thank Shaista for challenging me to move out of my comfort zone to discover more and grow more than I thought I could in 2 weeks.

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