I am going to be as honest as I can possibly be.  Coming on this trip I knew it wasn’t going to be another touristy Quinnipiac trip where we would ride bikes and visit museums.  I knew I was going to place that needed our help but what I didn’t count on was the fact that I needed their help.  My family was never extremely wealthy but I never had a night where I went without food or water.  Going on this trip was truly enlightening and humbling.


When I stepped off that yellow school bus the first day I had never felt so loved and adored by so many people I didn’t know.  We all have been programmed to not speak to strangers or to ignore people in passing because it is a social convention but not here.  Everyone wants to say “hello” and get to know you.  When I first got to Batey 50 I didn’t know where to go or what to do but as I followed the group I saw everyone saying hello to friendly faces and I knew I should branch out as well. I looked to my right and there was a little girl who looked both interested in what was going on but scared as well.  I took her hand, said hello, and asked her name. Her name was Abi.


Abi, at first shy, was one of the best parts of this trip. That first day with her didn’t include much talking but one thing I noticed was that she never left my side.  She wanted a friend and I was happy to be that for her.  At one point we lost the group and I tried to find her house which wasn’t easy since I don’t speak much Spanish.  When I finally got her home I found out that her mom was not in fact her mom but her aunt.  Her mom lives in the city with her sister and left her 3 year old behind. Learning that fact hit me hard.  This precious girl was left behind with no one really looking after her.  She had her aunt but her aunt had 2 small kids of her own.  As the week progressed I could see how happy Abi was.  I had learned that the previous year she was sick and barely cracked a smile. This year Abi couldn’t stop smiling and let her personality shine through.


When I think back on Abi and her smile I know that she is okay because behind that smile is a strong little girl. She is a fighter and no matter what might happen she will keep on fighting.  The strength and love I see in her will always give me strength to push through my struggles no matter how big or small because anything I go through will never be as serious as what she is going through.  Abi is an intelligent, beautiful, strong, lovable, and kind little girl.  Knowing her has made me a different person.  This trip has made me a different person.


Thank you QU301 DR Spring 2016,



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