Today I sat in my major professor’s office, and as I told him about my experiences in Haiti I realized tears began to roll down my cheeks. Tears of heartbreak for the children we saw struggling to get by in the streets, tears of happiness as I remembered the excitement in the voices of the students we met at the university, and tears of joy as I think about all of the students who let me join them during this amazing experience.
Now don’t worry, I wear my emotions on my sleeve and my advisor has seen me cry plenty of times. I am currently a Masters student in the Animal Sciences department and I had the pleasure of serving as a graduate TA for the course. Many of the students have expressed their experiences and impressions of the trip and I would echo what they have already said. Therefore, I want to express to you how amazing this group of students is and how they are the ones responsible for the success of this trip.
I have worked with several student organizations, countless group projects, and this was my third study abroad trip… However, no other group has come close to touching this group. Every student could not have been more different from one another, but when the work needed to be done they stepped up, completed the task, and worked together like a well-oiled machine. No challenge was too big or small. They all brought their talents and knowledge together to successfully face any obstacle we encountered during the course. They hung out together, bonded, and acted as though they had all been friends for a lifetime.
Every one of these students has inspired me, touched my life, and helped me grow as an individual. Thank you all for allowing me to develop my teaching skills, participating in this course, and for your friendship. I hope you enjoyed this experience and learned a little more about agriculture, your world view, and the true meaning of service learning.
Of course I could not end without thanking Dr. Oliver, Dr. Russell, Brantley, Blu, Maddie and everyone who made this trip possible and allowed me to participate.
And I am truly blessed to have had this experience and be a part of this extraordinary group.