Reflecting back on my time in Paraguay I realized I overcame many fears. I was scared and worried about many things such as the water, food, and sleeping.
Paraguay is so far from home and we were going to be gone for a long time. First, I was really scared of sleeping. This time in Paraguay was the longest I had ever stayed without my parents. Until this trip, I had not been away from my parents for more than two days, so two and a half weeks without them was a big deal. I was very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to sleep because at home it usually takes me awhile to fall asleep and I really didn’t want to have any sleepless nights during the trip. I’m scared of sleepless nights and being awake at night by myself. It seems like a lonely feeling. I know I’m grumpy without a good night’s rest and I knew that during this trip we would be interacting with a variety of people. Being tired and grumpy and meeting new people do not mix. As it turns out, I actually never had an issue sleeping. I was so exhausted at the end of each day that I had no trouble sleeping.
I was also scared that the food and water in Paraguay would make me sick. I did get sick once in Tobati because they fed me a lot of food and I drank tap water when having terere. Even though I was sick, I felt better during the rest of the trip. I was able to eat everything with the exception of a couple of foods, such as tomatoes, lettuce and some dairy products. Our trip leaders did a good job of making sure we had good food and water so we could stay healthy.
I had a great time on this trip and smiled a lot and I know the positive experience was partly because I felt so comfortable and faced my fears instead of being anxious.
Jack M., Walt Whitman High School