Jokes on you, Mr./Mrs. Reader, I decided to make this THREE-parted instead of two parts. Enjoy the suspense!
The day I returned from Honduras was the day that I started to change.
The plane arrived in the nighttime. My mom picked me up and kept asking me questions about my trip. Any answers I did give were short and sweet, but for the most part I was pretty non-responsive. I couldn’t put into words what I was feeling or what to say about it. I just kept telling her I was tired and hungry. For some reason I just felt, well, empty. Upon arriving home I immediately tried to fill this emptiness. I took the longest, hottest shower known to man, stuffed my face with cookie dough ice cream, stalked my friends’ Facebooks, and plopped my head down into my comfy bed.
But when I showered I felt nothing. When I ate I still wasn’t full. When I stalked Facebook everyone and everything seemed so distant. And, when I snuggled up in my bed, all I could think about was how empty I felt inside.
Going to the bathroom had to be one of the weirdest parts. As soon as I was done doing my business, I full-on stared at the used toilet paper for about five minutes. Where do you go. What do I do with you? It seemed as confusing as defusing a time bomb. I can’t sleep. Food doesn’t make me full. My friends don’t even seem relevant anymore. AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO PUT THE TOILET PAPER! What is wrong with me?
So I did what I thought was the best next step to take. Google anything and everything about Honduras. After about an hour of this, I found myself reaching the Heart to Honduras website, which was the company my school had gone through for our trip. And then before I knew it, my fingers were clicking on the “Getting Involved” tab and then directly after the “Travel To Honduras” tab. My body was reacting faster than my mind was. It’s four in the morning, I’m losing my mind, and all I can think is that I need to go back. First thing that catches my eye? A three-week program called the Ambassador’s program. One week in the mountains, one week in San Pedro at Nueva Esperanza, and one week in El Progresso at Proniño. Those are weird names. I wonder what that even is? This is a dumb idea. They’re not gonna take some seventeen-year-old girl anyway. But the empty feeling kept burning inside me. FINE! Fine. I’ll email Matt about it. Surely I’m just hallucinating from trying to readjust anyway. I’ll change my mind in the morning.
Finally, I was able to sleep. I woke up about noon and went upstairs. Still had the feeling. Still hadn’t changed my mind.
“Hey, mom, sooooo, I think you should look at this.”
My mom looked kind of surprised at first that I wanted to go back for another trip.
“You know this is for three weeks, right?”
“You know it’s next month, right?”
Three weeks. Next month. I had only been back for under 24 hours. And most importantly, I still hadn’t readjusted to flushing toilet paper.
So being the saint she is, she signed me up. Thanks mom.
Weeks later I’m back into my daily American grind and I’m back to being little Miss Perfect. Actually, no, I was worse than little Miss Perfect. I was little Miss Perfect, + party girl + conceited (excuse my French) bitch. Whatever effect Honduras had on me was now faded, the empty feeling was gone, and I was back to flushing the toilet paper again. All I wanted to do was hangout with my friends and boyfriend and enjoy my summer.
And then my mom happily reminded me that I needed to start preparing for my trip. Are you ****ing kidding me. Why did I sign up for this. What was I thinking? That’s almost a month! I can’t leave my boyfriend for that long. My friends will forget about me. What about Cheerleading? I’m basically giving up my entire summer just because I was sleep-deprived and not thinking straight. I was a very unhappy Miss Perfect the next few days. I started pulling out excuses again and faking my own sickness just like the last time. My attitude was out of control. I spent every day waking up on the “wrong side of the bed”. I did not, under any circumstances, want to go on this trip.
To top it all off I was going to have a traveling buddy named Sarah. Great, another stereotypical super-Christian Dutch girl that doesn’t do anything but pray and judge people. We’ll get along just oh so well. When I first met Sarah, I realized that my previous judgments were pretty accurate. She was a tall, blue-eyed and blonde-haired. She was sheltered and sweet. She was an intense Christian who put all of her Facebook statuses as bible verses. I didn’t like her, and I could tell she really didn’t like me either. The plane rides there we got a better chat in, but we still weren’t good friends by any means. We still very much disliked each other. We were from two different worlds and we both knew it. There was no way to make a friendship happen out of that.
The week in the mountains passed pretty fast. It wasn’t like the first time I was in Honduras. It was still enjoyable, but it just wasn’t as great as when I was with my schoolmates. I wasn’t close to any of the people there, and although I made new friends, it just wasn’t the same bond as my first trip. This was a total waste of my time. My brain started racing with ideas. Maybe if I just tell them I’m sick and I need to go back home, then I won’t have to stay for the two weeks. I wonder if I can tell them my sister’s in the hospital or something. Maybe I can get kicked off the trip? Thankfully, none of excuses happened to work out. Because what happened those next two weeks, is what changed my life forever.