I could not even use the restroom. As the putrid smell filled my nose and numerous insects surrounded me, I thought I was going to throw up. However, this concrete hole in the ground was the only option for me and five of my friends in a rural village just outside of Ciudad Valles, Mexico. Even still, I could not bring myself to use this facility. That is the moment when I truly realized the meaning of “spoiled American.” It was the spring of my junior year of high school, and I was completely unprepared for the impact this week would leave on my life.
There are no words to describe the thoughts that ran through my head after seeing someone sweeping his dirt floor, living in a house made entirely of sticks, or wearing clothes that an American would not even consider touching. These are images that will be forever engrained in my memory. I could not help but feel indescribably selfish. Before, I had been focused entirely on my own life and what I thought I “needed.” Now, after this profoundly eye-opening experience, I realize I have way too much! I realize that I need to go and do my part to help those in third-world countries.
In the near future, my desire is to spend a year or two in Africa helping orphaned children. They have nowhere to go, and many times are left to survive on their own. They need my help. They need not only my sympathy, but my compassion. They need to feel loved, appreciated, and accepted. They need food, shelter, and clothing. And it is my aspiration to go.