The End: Reflections of our Journey

Trip Start Feb 07, 2012
Trip End Apr 24, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of United States  , Maine
Monday, April 23, 2012

From PGL:

When Sarah started pushing this idea many years ago I never thought it would actually happen.  Seemed too long, too expensive, too much work to plan.  So many excuses.   I cannot believe how fast 3 months go by.  At times this trip was challenging;  getting sick, traveling long miles on chicken-buses, finding a clinic to stitch Hunter's head, finding another clinic to help Sawyer with his bladder infection, having no idea where we would stay, not able to speak the language effectively, and living in a total of 21 different hotel rooms with my wife and kids for 3 months are just a few of these obstacles!  Every time we had a challenge, we always were able to figure out.  Learning each time along the way.

I learned many lessons on our journey.  I learned how wonderful it is to get out of your comfort zone.  If it is safe and normal and the risks are low, it is probably not very exciting.  Not that everyone needs to go away for 3 months to some foreign country - you can find adventure just about anywhere - just step out of your comfort zone once in a while. You will grow as a result and likely meet fabulous people or see some amazing things.

We met amazing people: of all colors and sizes and income brackets.  It is amazing how a friendly smile or nod of the head can bridge people.  Help from complete strangers, the real sincere kind from people who will never leave their country, never know the modern comforts we know.   Our boys were able to witness and live among cultures very different than Maine.  See how "poor" does not automatically mean unhappy.  Just because you do not have electricty, you can still be very happy!

One of the kindest men I have ever met (and a great example of many people we met), Vincente, was a Nicaraguan working in Costa Rica.   He qould send home all his money to his family that he only sees them three times a year.  We spent two weeks with him, he helped us with our Spanish, we took turns cooking for one another, we shared MANY laughs.  I taught him how to skype with his family, install anti-virus software.  He taught us to be grateful and happy always.   We got the better end of the deal.

We met so many people, like Vincente, that we will likely never see again, but consider them all dear friends that we were able to share a short time with.  It reminds me how much of the world's problems could be solved if you just spend a little time with people.  Even if you cannot speak their language or understand their culture - at the end of the day, we are all the same.  People working, raising familes, going to their place of worship, volunteering, learning and having fun when we can.

Our family unit became stronger from this journey.  Rarely did we have television or other connections to the outside world.  We lived moment to moment with no schedules, and the rhythm of that alone was a gift.  Laughing, reliving stories of our adventure, reflecting on all the beautiful faces we saw along the way - it is my hope our kids remember this trip forever.  I know I will.

Thanks for sharing our journey with us!

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Stewart on

Welcome home! I will miss reading about all your adventures, but look forward to hearing about them in person - soon!

The Wainmans on

Welcome Home! So much fun following your travels. Look forward to catching up soon.

chip & braeden on

welcome back!...will miss your adventure updates and pictures...c u at lacrosse this eve?!

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